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6000+ Ohioans Protested Family Separations, Raids, Deportations

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Cleveland, OH Last weekend, more than 6,000 Ohioans in sixteen cities across the state plus Washington, DC rallied to #KeepFamiliesTogether.  Rallies were held in 750 cities nationwide.  

More than 60 people turned out in Ashland and 200 in Bowling Green, where Councilman Bruce Jeffers said “we’re interested in welcoming all people.”  Cleveland drew a crowd of 2,000 to listen to remarks from young people whose parents were arrested in the recent immigration raids, while thousands also turned out in Columbus.  Hundreds turned out in Cincinnati and Dayton, with nearly 200 showing up in Oxford and another 200 in Oberlin.  

In Toledo, hundreds heard from 8 year-old Karem Ramiez whose father was arrested in the Corso’s immigration raid: “Please help me.  I want my Papi back. I want everybody happy again.”

Rallies were also held in Delaware, Portsmouth, Wilmington, and Youngstown.  In Norwalk, a march was organized by a local activist, and on Sunday a local family impacted by the Corso’s immigration raid was featured on the front page of the Washington Post, above the fold.  

With support from their national organization, the YWCAs in Lorain and Elyria sent a bus full of northeast Ohioans to the national rally in Washington, DC.  The night before the national day of action, Athens and Painesville held related events in support of Ohio families.  For Ohio’s Future produced a video montage with photos of several of the events.

Saturday’s rallies had several things in common.  The crowds were larger than typical rallies in these locales, despite the fact that many were organized by first-time volunteers, operating with no money and just two weeks’ planning time.  The impact of family separation on children’s mental and physical health was a prominent concern among the speakers and participants.  The crowds heard from both traumatized young people as well as medical professionals like Dr. Robert Needlman, the modern-day author of the “Dr. Spock” baby books.  

Despite the 90-degree heat, Ohioans both young and old attended.  Many were attending a protest for the first time.  All left with a renewed faith in humanity.    

Said Lynn Tramonte, Director of America’s Voice Ohio: “Americans are outraged at the fact that our own government is separating families at the border.  The primal pain of separating a parent from a child is also taking place daily in Ohio homes and airports, far from the limelight. The massive, military-style raids that have been used against Ohio workers have brought the pain of local families into the public eye. Constant deportations are leaving hundreds of Ohio children without the support and guidance of one or more of their parents. And the Administration’s discriminatory Muslim ban is keeping Ohio families apart, uncertain when they will be together again.  That is why over six thousand Ohioans came out this weekend in the searing heat to demand that the U.S. government protect our kids and Ohio families.”

America’s Voice Ohio – Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform

@tramontela @mhildreth @AmericasVoice