[image-1] If you’re tired of reading about the effects of the Trump administration’s zero tolerance border policy, here are a few ways you can put down the internet for a minute and take direct action in Charleston.
On May 7, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that those who cross the border illegally will be automatically criminally prosecuted, a move that forces family separation as children — who are not prosecuted — are placed under the care of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) at facilities like Casa Padre. Close to 1,500 children are being housed there, according to The Washington Post.
Immigration cases, especially first-time crossings, were handled as civil matters until recently. Enforcing the new rules has led to 2,342 children being separated from their parents between May 5 and June 9, according to CBP.
President Trump signed an executive order last week meant to keep families together as they are detained, though prosecutions will move forward as planned and little has been said about the children currently in CBP custody.
What: Stop Family Separation Emergency Action Meeting
When: Thurs. June 28 at 6 p.m.
Where: Charleston County Public Library at 68 Calhoun St.
Hosted by: Indivisible Charleston
Description: At this event, you can hear about what protests are coming up and what organizations you can support (with both time and money) from the folks at Indivisible and other social justice organizations. Organizers encourage you to bring sign-making supplies.
What: Babies on the Sidewalk
When: Fri. June 29 at 11:30 a.m.
Where: Sen. Lindsey Graham’s Mt. Pleasant office, 530 Johnnie Dodds Blvd.
(Organizers want people to meet in the parking lot near Staples at 845 Houston Northcutt Blvd.)
Hosted by: Private protesters
Description: Perhaps the most creative option, this protest aims to visualize the horror that children and families go through when they are forcibly separated.
What: We Are Their Voices – #FamiliesBelongTogether
When: Sat. June 30 at 10:30 a.m.
Where: U.S. Custom House at 200 East Bay St.
Hosted by: Dixon for Mayor 2019
Description: This rally will be held “in solidarity with rallies across the nationwide [sic] to show our outrage over the vicious oppressive injustice coming out of the White House that is aimed directly at children and families at our southern border!” according to a Facebook page for the event. Organizers urge attendees to bring signs.
What: ICE out of Charleston/Families Belong Together Rally
When: Sat. June 30 at 2 p.m.
Where: Sherriff Al Cannon Detention Center, 3841 Leeds Ave., N. Chs.
Hosted by: Charleston Democratic Socialists of America
Description: In keeping with calls to abolish the relatively recent agency that is U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (note, ICE is not Customs and Border Protection, the organization apprehending first-time crossers and asylum seekers at the border), activists are holding a rally outside of the county jail to decry ICE, which has an agreement with the county jail to perform certain immigration enforcement duties. Read our story about this specific rally here.