Kansas City joins global ‘Lights for Liberty’ vigils to protest border policy

Hundreds gathered in Kansas City’s Washington Square Park on Friday to join Lights for Liberty, a global protest of U.S. border detention facilities and family separation policy.

Candlelit vigils and events were held in more than 750 cities and towns around the world in which immigration took center stage. In Washington, the House Oversight Committee heard testimony from freshman Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib about alleged human rights abuses at the border.

New data released earlier by that committee had reported that at least 18 children under age 2, including nine infants, had been separated from their families at the border. They had remained in custody and separated from their parents for 20 days to six months.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump confirmed Friday morning that ICE planned to raid nine U.S. cities over the weekend.

In Kansas City, hundreds arrived Lights for Liberty hours before dusk. Children played on the grass while adults mingled, many carrying handmade signs and lawn chairs. At 8 p.m., activists, artists, organizers and a lawyer gave talks intended to contextualize the crisis at the border. At 9 p.m., candles were lit in solidarity with immigrant communities at the border, in other cities and around the world.

The Kansas City Lights for Liberty event was co-sponsored by organizations including the Kansas/Missouri Dream Alliance, the KC Metro Immigration Alliance, Indivisible KC and others.