Families Belong Together protest planned today for Washington, DC, and hundreds of other cities.

Activists are organizing a nationwide protest on June 30 to demand the Trump administration reunite families, and end family separation and detention at the border.

The Families Belong Together march is planned for Washington, DC, in Lafayette Square — across from the White House — at 11 am on Saturday, June 30. Sister marches are expected in more than 700 cities and towns across the country.

"The 'zero tolerance' policy is Trump's zero-tolerance policy, and he has the ability to get rid of that policy at any time," said Jess Morales Rocketto, the policy director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, one of the dozens of groups that are organizing the protest. "So we're not going to stop organizing until the end of zero-tolerance policy. That's ultimately what created this crisis, and our demand has been so clear from the very beginning that that's what needs to happen."

President Donald Trump signed an executive order last week that ended the large-scale practice of splitting up parents and kids, but his administration will now detain families together — and it seeks to do so indefinitely.

There's also the question of the more than 2,000 children separated from their parents. Accounts from immigration advocates and migrants within detention say the process to reunify families is fraught with problems. A judge has ordered the Trump administration speed up family reunification and stop deporting parents without their kids, but bureaucratic hurdles remain.

Even as the administration reunites families, it's seeking to deport them together. It is also proposing a rule that would radically change the asylum process, by making people ineligible if they cross the border illegally.

These policies are energizing the June 30 protest, even after pressure forced Trump to balk on family separations. "It's a clear sign we're winning the argument, that Trump is feeling the heat," Karthik Ganapathy, spokesperson for the Families Belong Together March and MoveOn, another group organizing the protest, said last week about Trump's executive order.

The Families Belong Together protest is encouraging protesters to wear white, in solidarity. The march in DC will feature speeches from activists, faith leaders, and children and families. Celebrities, including Lin Manuel Miranda and John Legend, will also make appearances.

Trump's policy has reignited activism on immigration

Trump's "zero tolerance" immigration policy has galvanized activists nationwide, with a fervor reminiscent of the early days of the Trump administration and the Travel Ban.

On June 14, progressive groups organized"Families Belong Together" protests in dozens of cities to call for an end to family separation.

Spontaneous protests have also broken out across the country. This month, demonstrators confronted Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen as she dined at a DC Mexican restaurant. And New Yorkers recently gathered at LaGuardia Airport to welcome children, reportedly separated from their parents, who were set to arrive in the city.

About 600 women were arrested on Thursday during a nonviolent civil disobedience action organized by the Women's March. Hundreds of protesters took over a Senate office building to call for the abolition of ICE and the end of family separation and detention.

“Civil disobedience is a strategic intentional tactic,"[an organizer, Linda] Sarsour said last week, before the protest. "We have to be helpful to the people we claim to fight with and for."

The June 30 protest will build on those mobilization efforts, especially as the intensity of the public pressure has, as Ganapathy noted, forced the Trump administration to shift course on family separation.

"I really think this is an organic thing," Ganapathy said. "I really just think we're tapping into this deep and visceral sense of outrage that people feel. This can't be who we are as a country, we can't go down this path."

Vox, updated June 29, 2018


June 30, 2018

Post Script. From Time magazine, June 29, 2018.

Where are Families Belong Together marches happening?

The main Families Belong Together March is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, June 30.

However, Anna Galland, executive director of nonprofit Move On, one of the march's organizers, said there are local protests scheduled in all 50 states. Major protests are planned in Minneapolis, Nashville, Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City.

A total of 628 rallies have been registered, including some outside the U.S. in cities like Berlin and London.

Anyone interested in participating can visit the Families Belong Together site and search for rallies by zip code.

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