This past weekend, activists across Vermont dropped banners over Routes 89 and 91 in a campaign to remind leaf peepers of the ongoing atrocities of family separation, the perverse interpretation and implementation of immigration law, and increasingly militaristic Immigration and Customs Enforcement operations
Community members participated in coordinated banner drops and displays at nine locations across the state, including I-89 overpasses in Burlington, Waterbury, Middlesex, South Royalton, and West Hartford, and I-91 overpasses in Thetford, White River, Windsor, and Brattleboro. Banners carried a variety of messages in an effort to draw attention to the egregious actions of I.C.E. agents, both in state and across the country. Some of these included:
ABOLISH ICE – FREE THE KIDS!
GIVE ME YOUR
Some banners were left up until law enforcement came and took them down, others were held and defended from police until they threatened arrest. There were no arrests. Attached are some photos from the actions.
Organizers said, “We wanted to show our local migrant community, particularly dairy farm workers, that we appreciate them and will do all we can to protect and support them. We also want tourists visiting Vermont to enjoy the foliage, and simultaneously remember there are grave injustices being carried out every day against migrants and those seeking asylum We hope more people will be moved to support communities targeted by ICE, either through direct action or by donating to groups working on the frontlines.”
According to a report by the New York Times last month, 12,800 migrant children are being held in more than 100 tent concentration camps nationwide. Detainment center capacity has skyrocketed from 30% last year to 90%. (Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/12/us/migrant-children-detention.html)
Banners unfurled this weekend were in response to reports of desert detention camp expansion. Activists took advantage of peak foliage and the three-day weekend. This Columbus Day “celebration” ironically caps “536 years of destroying families,” as proclaimed by one banner. In Burlington, a banner over I-89 also drew the attention of people in town for Alumni, Parent and Family Weekend.
“We will continue to stand for the migrant community, for Fair and Impartial Policing, and in opposition to ICE and all the ways they tear apart families. We hope you will join your neighbors across the state doing the same!”