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Minneapolis vigil shows solidarity with Central American refugee children

By Brad Sigal |
August 10, 2014
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 Minneapolis stands in solidarity with Central American refugee children
Minneapolis stands in solidarity with Central American refugee children (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Minneapolis, MN - On Aug. 9 immigrant rights activists organized a vigil in Minneapolis as part of an International Day of Action in solidarity with Central American refugee children. Vigils were held in many cities in the U.S., Mexico and Central America. The vigils demanded protection and legal status, not detention and deportation for the tens of thousands of Central American children crossing the border into the U.S. - fleeing violence and extreme poverty in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. The Obama administration is currently focusing on speeding up deportations of the children rather than treating them as refugees that need legal protective status and family reunification.

Activists and community members gathered at 8:00 p.m. on Lake Street and 12th Avenue at the statue of Mexican revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata. They held signs and banners, chanted and held lights as dusk set in. Many passers-by honked and waved to show their support. The protesters paid homage to the spirit of Zapata, chanting “Zapata vive, la lucha sigue!” (Zapata lives, the struggle continues!) and did many other chants calling for full equality and an end to deportations. After chanting and bannering for an hour the group came together and shared stories of experiences of family separation, why young people cross the U.S.-Mexico border and the need to join together and organize to support migrant children.

The vigil was organized by the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC) as part of an International Day of Action in Solidarity with Refugees and Immigrants. The call for the day of solidarity originated with grassroots immigrant rights activists in Mexico and Texas.

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