by Alexsandra Ruiz-Ortíz
With backpacks, flags and signs, hundreds of protesters on September 21, were ready for a near 8-mile walk from the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial in Denver’s City Park to the GEO Detention Center, in north Aurora, to express their frustration and anger toward the immigration system in América.
The March for Justice was organized by the Enough Action Coalition, a core group of Colorado organizations seeking justice. Earlier this month, the Coalition invited community participation, stating: “If you’ve had enough of bigoted practices that were once subtle—but which now occur more frequently in the open—where we live and play, where we shop, where we work, where we listen to live music, where we meet for coffee, and where we worship—join us in saying, ‘Enough!.’
Now is the time. Americans everywhere are weary from the silence and inaction our elected leaders have displayed over this escalating violence against people of color.
The Coalition’s statement continued, “Black, brown, white, male or female, young or old, poor or rich, we are touched by images of children enclosed in fences, separated from their parents. Have you had enough?”
Lylybell Padrón, a student at the Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU), heard about the march through the Latinx Student Alliance club at MSU Denver.
“I am here today, because I believe that this country means liberty, freedom, and opportunity,” said Padrón. “I feel like what is happening is the opposite of that. We are seeing families being torn apart; we are seeing people and children put in cages; we are seeing people dying in the hands of ICE custody; and I feel like the country is not living up to what we are here for. Also, this land, everyone is an immigrant besides Native Americans. I don’t see how it is okay for people who immigrated here to decide who can and cannot stay here.”
Padrón, along with other MSU students, carried a banner that stated, “A Message of Hope.”
Another Denver resident, Chris, marched on Saturday to support the Latino community here in Denver. Chris and many other Colorado residents joined in prayers and speeches from other languages and cultures before the march officially began.
The march was led by a truck carrying those who were not able to walk the whole distance followed by Grupo Tlaloc, a Mexica/Aztec dance group. Denver Police blocked intersections throughout Colfax Ave. to allow the peaceful march to reach their destination safety. Throughout Colfax, cars honked in support as the group chanted “Abolish ICE.”
After about 3 hours, protesters reached Aurora’s ICE GEO Detention Center. Aurora Police were able to maintain peaceful action, by keeping the humanitarian March safe from anti-immigrant protestors.
Alexsandra Ruiz-Ortíz is an Independent Reporter for The Weekly Issue/El Semanario.
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