On Friday, July 12, thousands of people across the country joined together for Lights for Liberty vigils at more than 700 cities. Each vigil took place at 7 p.m. local time and they were designed to bring attention to the treatment of immigrants in detention centers across the United States. Learn more about the vigils and see photos from across the country below.
More than 700 cities participated. The event was started by Elizabeth McLaughlin, an attorney, and the Women’s March, the Black Movement Law Project, and others sponsored the event, USA Today shared. States and countries that hosted events included Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, Australia, Arizona, Canada, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Hawaii, Germany, Illinois, Ireland, Israel, Kansas, Italy, Japan, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Mexico, Minnesota, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and more.
Here’s a look at photos and details about some of the vigils on Friday.
A huge vigil was held outside an ICE detention center in Aurora, Colorado on Friday, shared Jaclyn Allen from Denver Channel.
Not everything was peaceful. Some protestors replaced the flags with a defaced American flag and a Mexican flag. This caused a division in the crowd, Allen shared, as some left when civil disobedience started.
People were encouraged to leave in groups in case they encountered counter-protestors, she shared.
Batavia, New York
More than 200 people showed up in Batavia, including religious groups and church groups.
Chappaqua, New York
In Chappaqua, New York, Hillary Clinton made a surprise appearance at the vigil.
Charleston & Columbia, South Carolina
Cities in South Carolina were represented. You can see that the turnout in Charleston was quite significant.
They met at the Riverfront Park in North Charleston.
Elizabeth, New Jersey
Hundreds showed up at the detention center in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
El Paso, Texas
This event focused on a location where immigrants were being housed underneath a bridge, according to the event’s website.
One person traveled 16 hours to support the El Paso vigil.
At the vigil, they read the names and ages of children who died in detention centers.
The vigil in Houston was held at 419 Emancipation Avenue, a youth detention center. It started at 7 and was still going more than two hours later.
The crowd gathered at Zionsville Road in Indianapolis.
Ithica, New York
Sanctuary city Ithica, New York saw a significant crowd of people gathering.
The event took place at the NY Commons Bernie Milton Pavilion.
This event was at the Kenosha Detention Center.
Las Vegas, Nevada
A crowd showed up in Las Vegas too.
Some chanted “Si se puede!”
Some met at the Lloyd D. George United States Courthouse.
Little Neck, Queens, New York
The crowd sang Imagine during a touching moment in the vigil.
New York, New York
This event was held at Foley Square, where migrants are processed every day, according to the event’s website.
In Oakland, rather than a silent vigil, Lyndsey Schlax told USA Today that she was planning an educational event where they would talk to parents and children about what was happening. They would provide children with plans for hosting lemonade stands that would benefit nonprofits committed to helping immigrants.
In Leesport, a group gathered at the Berks Family Detention Center. One person wrote on Twitter: “I…drove out to be on site in kinship with others fighting for human decency… Thank you for helping lead this.”
Patchogue, New York
Hundreds gathered in Pittsburgh and listened to words from people impacted by ICE. The Pittsburgh Mayor also showed his support.
Portland had a large turnout at Terry Schrunk Plaza.
Princeton, New Jersey
One attendee said the Princeton vigil was an “inspiring beautiful night of love, support, determination and fight.”
San Bernardino, California
A large crowd showed up in San Bernardino. About 500 were there, and about 18 counter-protestors were also there.
San Diego & San Ysidro, California
This event was held near the Tijuana entry site, according to the event’s website. In the photo above, you can see a march in San Ysidro at the border near San Diego. About 2,000 to 3,000 people participated in this march.
St. George, Utah
A group gathered and marched in St. George.
Here you can see a crowd gathering for a vigil at T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor, Texas.
People participated not just in the United States but all over the world. Above is a photo from Toronto.
The Washington, D.C. event was among the largest on Friday. Speakers included Rep. Norma Torres, Hope Frye (an attorney supporting children in detention facilities), Ruby Corado (trans activist), Gustavo Torres (executive director of CASA), and more. The event was held at Lafayette Park.
Michigan was represented. John Paul Torres, son of a former undocumented immigrant, was one of the speakers.
More than 100 gathered together.
Hundreds appeared in Wilmington.
They spoke the names of those who died in detention centers to remember them.