Families Belong Together: Asbury Park AKA: How To Cover A Protest On A Lunch Break


On a blisteringly hot day, people from all over the Asbury Park area rallied together at Springwood Park as a part of the “Families Belong Together” protests happening nationwide. The protests were set into motion as a way of showing peaceful solidarity with people whose families were broken apart by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) under the current and former presidents’ terms.

The rally was put together by members of the Women’s March Asbury Park, Garden State Equality, Asbury Park Women’s Convention, Kivvit, and Hunnell & Breitowich with help from dozens of community members. They did all of this within short notice and received a crowd of over 200 people.

Out of all the prominent guest speakers, the person that stood out the most was Nicole. She is a 15 year old Latina girl from the area who told the crowd of how her father had been taken by ICE after legally living in America for decades. Nicole’s life is much like many others across America right now as over 2,300 children have been separated from their families. While the difference may be who got taken by ICE and who is still free, the trauma of a family member being taken from you and held in a detention center still stands. Nicole brought up the impact of having her father be torn from her life and the toll it takes on her and her family. She had moved everyone in attendance to tears and outrage with her story of detachment and despair.

At the rally, there were children and teens protesting too because it is their future that everyone is fighting for. They held signs, wore homemade “I care…” t-shirts and chanted along with their adult counterparts.

This past Saturday proved that when the kids are united it will become increasingly hard to divide them.

One of the many sponsors at the rally was Garden State Equality. Garden State Equality is New Jersey’s leading civil rights organization who has been fighting for and supporting those in need for close to 15 years. GSE had been selling shirts that read “we really do care don’t u?!” as a knock to the First Lady who had gone to an ICE detention center wearing a jacket that read “I really don’t care do u?” By the end of the event they had sold out of them, thus raising over $2,000 and showing that people really do care about the U.S.’ immigration policies and keeping families together.

See Nicole  GoFundMe campaign to help fund her father’s legal fees. According to the family, any excess money raised will be donated to support other immigrant families in similar situations.

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