RF holds rally against immigration policies
Those driving through the intersection at Main Street and Cascade Avenue Monday evening around 4-5 p.m. could see people gathered at each corner, holding signs and chanting.
More than 130 people attended, according to Dr. Jackie Brux, who organized the event with Rev. Barb deSouza.
Brux said those who joined in the rally were there to speak against new immigration policies of separating children from parents, and eliminating gang violence and domestic violence as reasons for granting asylum to those seeking it in the United States.
Though Donald Trump signed an executive order on June 20 to keep children and parents together in detention, those who were not in favor of the executive order to separate children and parents at the U.S. border have questioned what will happen to children who have already been detained.
Brux said the rally is strictly against the three new immigration policies mentioned. She called it a "human rights" issue, not a politics issue.
deSouza said she hopes the rally will spread awareness and encourage people to contact their legislators.
Several who attended were pastors and ministers from local churches.
"I just think people need to be very aware that this is a reality, that babies, children are being taken away from their parents and that's actually in my opinion kidnapping because some of those children they may not trace," deSouza said. "That's tragic. That's not the America that we were brought up in. It's just horrible and we have to do something."
Brux said she hopes to see congress pass a "clean" immigration bill that would address the issues of child separation, and domestic and gang violence as reasons for granting asylum.
Brux said the 130 who attended were more than she had expected.
"This was an amazing turnout," Brux said, "more than I've seen in a long long time at a rally in River Falls."
Those gathered included several local pastors, including pastor Sandra Johnson of Hope Lutheran.
"I think that we gather in this place at this time because there has to be a better way," she said. "A better way to welcome brothers and sisters from Central America, ways to care for them, and I think we're we can make a better plan, a better policy."
Pastor Amy DeLong of United Methodist church was also present at the rally.
"I think it's a good show of solidarity for the people who are most at risk and vulnerable in our society right now," she said. "So I'm just glad to see people putting their beliefs into action."
Those at the rally held signs and chanted. Those present said most people who drove by honked horns, or waved and were respectful.