More than 110 Door County residents took their hearts, souls, and feet to the streets, bridges and beaches of the county on Friday Evening July 12. They joined over 880 similar vigils across the world as well as 20 others across Wisconsin to express outrage about the inhumane treatment by the Trump Administration of migrant families at the U.S. Southern border and in detention camps nation-wide. Coordinated by Indivisible Door County a silent vigil at Schoolhouse Beach on Washington Island was attended by 32 persons, and a silent march across the steel bridge and through downtown Sturgeon Bay by another 80 plus persons.
“We felt is was particularly important here in Door County where we have both many migrant families helping with agricultural work and others basking in summer fun, that a light be shone on the horrendous conditions being imposed on innocent children and families in our name and with our dollars” said Mike Brodd, one of the organizers. “How can we honestly celebrate freedom with fireworks, food and family and simultaneously cage children, deprive innocent people of beds, soap, decent food, a shower, clean diapers for children, even toothpaste?” The US Government is paying private “camp” operators almost $800 per day per person to treat these desperate migrants in this manner. It is unconscionable, Brodd noted adding, “Who do you know pays $800 a night to stay in a hotel with no bed, no privacy and where you get to drink your water out of the toilet? That is what we as Americans are doing to migrant families as you read this”.
“In the face of the horrors at our border and the enormity of the powers arrayed against justice and love, it was heartening to create a community of those who care, and be part of a nationwide network of people taking one small step toward being America,” said Island resident Patty Baker, of the 12 July gathering of Lights for Liberty on Washington Island.
Libby Sachs, of Washington Island added “While it may strike many as ineffective to affect public policy through marches and public activism, in fact, events have, historically, been the means for great change in our nation. As well, they give folks a way to publicly express their opinions and be active involved citizens. Yes, people on Washington Island care deeply about what is going on in Texas and elsewhere. But national actions have local impact. People are distraught. It is important that our representatives in Washington know that and want them to act accordingly.” The event on Washington Island paired with the march in Sturgeon Bay demonstrate the widespread and deeply-felt concern over the racist and cruel Republican Immigration Policy. Sachs noted, “It’s time for American to get up off their couches and become involved and active citizens, before it is too late.”