Providence Meeting’s Middle School Friends led a highly successful vigil for immigrant rights at the Delaware County Courthouse on October 3, 2020. The event was to focus attention on the treatment of immigrants on the U.S. border and a call for action to address this issue. Supporting our middle school Friends were a large contingent from the Movement of Immigrant Leaders of Pennsylvania (MILPA) and local elected officials.
A good crowd numbering around 110 people listened to speeches on the courthouse steps, then about 50 persons marched through Media to Providence Meeting. After introductions by Teacher Jay, Sofia spoke (in English and Spanish) on detention centers and the needs of immigrants; Jamila followed with remarks (also in English and Spanish) on the health care needs of immigrants. Charlotte stepped up to the microphone to remind everyone that migrant families come from Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, and that it is only when they get to the U.S. border that they are detained, mistreated, and separated from each other. Cormac and Joseph created the bold signs that were evident throughout the vigil and walk through Media.
Sofia and Jamila then introduced Desi Burnette, state coordinator for MILPA, who addressed the crowd. Rounding out the program were U.S. Representative Mary Gay Scanlon, State Senator Tim Kearney, and Brian P. Zidek, chair of the Delaware County Council.
Following the program, the crowd then marched through the streets of Media from the courthouse to Providence Meeting, chanting slogans calling for humane treatment of immigrants at the U.S. border. At Providence, Friend Laura Boyce, Associate General Secretary for U.S. Programs at the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), addressed the group and encouraged them to continue to fight for immigrant rights.