Across hundreds of big cities and small towns, thousands are expected to gather across the globe for the “Lights For Liberty” vigils. Calling attention to the treatment of immigrants in detention centers ahead of thousands of planned raids.
“Pictures speak a thousand words and we can’t ignore things,” organizer Rev. Jenny Peek said. “If we’re enjoying our bubble of relative comfort … then we are confronted with something like this, once we’ve seen it, it can’t be unseen.”
Outside the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Pocatello, the words “classrooms not cages” are on display, echoing the thoughts and feelings of Peek, as well as Tony and Paula Seikel.
The trio decided they wanted to get involved almost immediately after receiving an email documenting the situation at the immigrant detention centers.
“It was instantly, right. The video showed so much heartache and it’s you know, the whole issue of sort of the humanitarian need of taking care of people in a humanitarian way is what really struck us,” they said.
Soon after they planed their own event at City Hall in Pocatello. Scheduled for Friday evening, the event is one of the hundreds taking place all over the world, and the only one in the Gem State since Boise canceled.
Taking part means something different to each organizer, but Paula was reminded of the Statue of Liberty theme the vigil carries.
“Just that notion that we welcome the huddled masses, we welcome the tempest-tossed, we welcome people to this country who aren’t wealthy and don’t have skills,” she explained.
“I think about the people that are trying to come from the southern border and they have a lot of grit. I mean they have a lot of determination and they are kind of who Americans see themselves as being.”
Peek said she plans to give everyone who attends a chance to speak and explain why the event and issue mean something to them.