Redding CT—More than 100 people gathered at the beautiful Redding Town Green Friday, July 12th for a Lights for Liberty vigil, a global mass mobilization in response to the inhumane conditions inside immigrant detention camps in the United States. Phyllis Rhodes, Mary Ann Carman and Suzi Tucker organized the event.
The vigil began at 7:30pm with Amy Cabot and Bill McBrayer performing “Get Together,” a musical appeal for peace and brotherhood, love versus fear; and culminated with the assembled crowd singing “Peace Train.” Following the speeches, attendees held votive candles aloft in silence, as dusk settled over the green, to honor the intention to protect immigrants from unlawful and abusive conditions.
Robert E. Moran filmed the event, which is currently up for viewing and sharing above or on on Redding Channel 79.
Six invited guest speakers, including 2 State Representatives, shared moving and inspirational stories from varied perspectives, both personal and professional. Following introductory remarks by the organizers, the speakers provided expert information and a much greater context for the reports on conditions at U.S. immigrant detention facilities. The speeches were a call for humanity, while educating listeners and asking them to take action on human rights violations and in support of our immigrant communities.
The guest speakers were Samuel Morett, a personal coach and inspirational speaker, originally from Venezuela; Liz Jorgensen, an adolescent and adult psychotherapist who spoke to the effects of separation trauma on a child’s brain; Dr. Mario Mendoza, an anesthesiologist and recent founder of www.lifeundocumented.org who came to America as a young child from El Salvador; Alex Meyerovich, Managing Partner of M.C. Law and board member of the CT Institute for Refugees and Immigrants; and State Representatives Anne Hughes (D-135) and Raghib Allie-Brennan (D-2).
“The vigil was heartfelt and emotional for me,” said Julie Wolfer following the event. “The guest speakers spoke from their hearts and I believe everyone who attended couldn’t help but be moved. In the United States, we need to lead with kindness and dignity for all human beings. I didn’t know what to do about this horror happening in our own country. But now, I am going to volunteer time for DARA. I need to make some kind of difference.”
Lee Bodkin added, “All of the speakers at Redding’s Lights for Liberty were excellent and drove home the severity of the illegal and inhumane treatment of vulnerable immigrants at our border.”
For electronic copies of the event program with information about the speakers, local and national advocacy organizations, contact information for elected officials, and suggested language and action to encourage oversight for the detention camps, please contact the organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. For more information about the national vigil visit lightsforliberty.org.
For more photos of the local event, please click here.