Op-Ed: Protest child detention Sunday, August 25 from 10:00am to 11:00am

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Protest in Lake Forest Park
Photo by Luanne Brown

By Luanne Brown

For the past several weeks, a small group of people have been gathering at the corner of Ballinger Way and Bothell Way NE (SR 522) with signs to protest the separation of children from their families at the U.S. Mexico border.

Participants object not only to the separation and incarceration of asylum-seekers, but to their reported treatment by government-funded private facilities where they are said to be held in squalid conditions without adequate nutrition, hygiene, physical, and emotional safety. 

These neglectful conditions have resulted in the deaths of several children. And the cruelty toward these dependents grows harsher by the day as the Trump administration rips screaming babies from their mothers’ arms, threatens longer detainments, and claims they will not vaccinate detained children in border detention facilities during the coming flu season.

Attendees of last week’s protest included concerned citizens from Lake Forest Park, Shoreline, and Woodinville and surrounding suburbs. 

Charles Anstett, an activist from Lake Forest Park and one of the organizers, said “We are protesting because we think the separating children from their parents and detaining them by locking them in cages is immoral. All Americans of good conscience need to stand up and speak out.”

Another activist, Lael White of Mountlake Terrace said she came because, "I want people to think about how our government is conducting severely inhumane treatment of innocent people at our border, families who are seeking asylum."

Doug Margeson, of Woodinville, brought his American flag to the protest. “I just came to support the cause. It’s not right to separate families,” he said.

Linda Baarslag-Benson of Lake Forest Park, who attended the protest with her husband Ross Baarslag-Benson, said “We have been shocked and sickened by the news of this inhumane treatment of immigrant children at our border and felt a strong call to action ourselves. We set out to do our own weekly vigil in Lake Forest Park. 

"Our goal is to bear witness to this dark time in our country and to highlight this truth, that ALL children are OUR children.”

House guests, of the Baarslag-Bensons,’ Bobbi Crane and Tom Arvidson from Missoula, Montana joined their hosts at the protest. According to Crane, “We don’t get too many opportunities to protest in Montana, so we welcomed the opportunity to support this effort.”

If you believe that it’s wrong to crush young lives with such cruelty, join us next Sunday. Let the world know that the north-end residents have had enough and demand kinder, more compassionate treatment that reunites families, not separates them.

Protests are planned every Sunday for the indefinite future.

10am to 11am
At the corner of Ballinger Way and Bothell Way NE (SR 522)


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