Protestors in Edmonds make their voices heard

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Kate Quinn, former immigration attorney

Text and photos by Luanne Brown

Today, in Edmonds, almost 600 people gathered at the intersection of Edmonds Way and 100th Ave West to protest the Trump administration’s ‘Zero Tolerance’ immigration policies and the separation of children from their families. Although that policy has supposedly been rescinded by a presidential executive order, there does not at this time seem to be a cohesive plan to reunite children with parents.

Sarah Roskam, Broadview
Lining the sidewalks on all four corners, many participants held up homemade signs with a variety of expressions, including ‘Amber Alert, ICE taking children’, ‘Which side of History are YOU on?’, ‘Yes, Melania, we do.’

They waved to the cars that passed by and cars waved back or honked their support. One exception was a large white Humvee with a Trump sticker on the back. The passenger in the car, a female, yelled an expletive as the car drove past the crowd. 

Generally made up of the over-50 crowd, there were some people in wheelchairs and with walkers. Parents brought younger children, too. Some people had tears streaming down their faces. This gathering was part of today’s nation-wide “Families Belong Together” protest.

Jillian Yuhas, Lynnwood
Here are quotes from some of the people who attended.

Linda Murtfeldt, Seattle

“Trump’s actions are immoral to the kids and families affected. It’s crazy to say we don’t want immigrants in our country.”

Sarah Roskam, Broadview

“I didn’t protest in the 60’s and 70’s, but I’m speaking up now. I grew up evangelical and I am mortified by what the church is standing for. Jesus would not tolerate what we are doing. We must stand up for what is right.” 

Geronimo Whitaker, Edmonds
Geronimo Whitaker, Edmonds

“I am the second generation of my family to serve our country. My grandfather was a Tuskegee Airman. That’s part of why I feel so strongly that what is happening in our country is wrong. First and foremost, as a Vietnam vet, I swore to protect the Constitution. I took a step forward to do that and I’m not stepping back. It’s my duty to protest. That’s why I’m here.” Whitaker was part of the Winter Soldiers protest in 1971 where Vietnam Veterans Against the War put the spotlight on war crimes committed by the US military in Vietnam.

Dorothy Harrison, Edmonds
Dorothy Harrison, Edmonds

“Trump is a fascist and an illegal president. Most of us are immigrants. My mother was a war bride. I was born in a farmhouse in England. I have six kids, nine grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. I’m here for them.”

Jillian Yuhas, Lynnwood

“My sign has an Amish proverb on it. 'Instead of putting others in their place put yourself in their place.' The lack of empathy and compassion in our government in general is appalling. The environment, the economy—it’s all about taking and not giving. It’s about greed. We need a severe pendulum swing. I’m counting on the millennials to save us. They are all about inclusion. Their minimalistic, social, and they care about the environment.”

Leslie Keenan, Edmonds

“I am here to mourn the death of Liberty in our country. We have to get out and vote. We have to be insistent about making noise. The Vietnam War protests ended the war. We must protest until we are sure Liberty lives”. 

Phil and Peri DiCrescentis, Edmonds
Ron and Sharon Thomas, Edmonds

“It’s just too much when we start holding kids hostage for a stupid fence. We’re finding it hard to live our lives every day. I’m am tired of crying. That doesn’t do any good. That’s why Ron and I came here today.”

 Phil and Peri DiCrescentis, Edmonds

“We came because of the babies. They are separated from their parents and it doesn’t look like the administration is doing anything to get them back together. It’s heartbreaking and it’s not who we are.”

Peter Kahle, North Seattle

“When I first got here, I wept. That I’m holding this sign ('OHANA - Save the families') in America is too much." 

Linda Russell, Edmonds

“I’m here for my grandson, Owen. He’s six and has autism. He told me, ‘Grandma, why don’t we just deport Trump.”

Susan Cyr, Interfaith Minister

Susan Cyr, Interfaith Minister (non-Christian), Psychotherapist

“I didn’t bring a sign because there are too many issues to protest. Seeking asylum is not a crime. Blocking entrance to our country should be. I am furious and have been this way since Trump was elected.” Her prescription? “Vote! We must end Citizens United.”

Kate Quinn, former immigrant attorney, Lynnwood

“It’s important that people can come to our country and claim asylum. Stopping families before they can even claim asylum is wrong.

"So is having children represent themselves in court. But that has been going on here for a long time. It’s good for people to become aware of this problem so we can do something about it.”


Doug July 1, 2018 at 7:46 AM  

Proof that truth is not a left wing virtue. It was clear that not one person quoted had a clue about the facts of this issue. I.e. “blocking entrance to this country should be illegal”. That sums up the lack of understanding.

Doug July 1, 2018 at 8:01 AM  

Because of an ACLU lawsuit, the law mandates that children of detainees not be housed in the adult population. Keeping them together was considered inhumane. So, keeping them with the parents is inhumane. Dividing them is inhumane. The left really wants no border enforcement.

Anonymous,  July 1, 2018 at 5:32 PM  

Where were these folks when the Obama administration was doing similar and potentially far worse things? Why was it that Mrs. Obama never had the time to visit a facility like Mrs. Trump did?

If some of these folks don't believe in borders, then they won't mind when I enter their homes without an invitation, correct?

Anonymous,  July 2, 2018 at 10:48 AM  

Well - Doug certainly speaks on behalf of many people who have managed to take a very complex issue and reduce it to a common -albeit mistaken) Fox talking point -
It is possible to regulate immigration, and their was a potential law a few years ago put forward by a Republican president, that had major support in Congress and among the general population. It wasn't extreme enough for the Tea Party - so here we are.
Would you prefer that we just shoot the young people as they do in the slums in Brazil?

Doug July 3, 2018 at 7:03 AM  

Poor straw man attempt. Misrepresent the options. The issue is a difficult one, but mispkaced and selective outrage over the current policy isn’t helpful. The borders must be enforced and the law abided by. The children are not inhumanely treated. They are processed and found a home. The fault lies with the parents and traffickers that try to bring them over the border illegally. The left wants no border enforcement and open borders. That leads to lawlessness and children being abandoned...which is a problem. The current system needs to be fixed by congress, but it is better than what Trump impnherited.

Anonymous,  July 4, 2018 at 9:33 AM  

Comments like 'the left' wants no border enforcement is a typical tool used to divide and demonize those that don't agree with you. You have no idea what 'the left' thinks.
People in the article made some very good points and had the character to go out and express them. Dougs comments are nothing more than name calling, you really add nothing constructive to the conversation.

Doug July 6, 2018 at 6:28 AM  

Good comments? Ha! Some are well-meaning but confused. Some are just outright lunacy: Trump is an illegal President; blocking entrance is immoral; not recognizing the difference between legal immigration, asylum, and illegal immigration; that most of us are immigrants—no we are not. We descended from legal immigrants or settlers; that the Constitution is violated by protecting the border. These are all deluded sentiments.

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