Jefferson County Immigrant Rights Advocates members Jean Walat, left, Julia Cochrane and Linda Murphy put together a display that calls attention to child detention at the southern border. The women will bring the Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Detention Camps protest to Jefferson County on Friday. (Jeannie McMacken/Peninsula Daily News)

Jefferson County Immigrant Rights Advocates members Jean Walat, left, Julia Cochrane and Linda Murphy put together a display that calls attention to child detention at the southern border. The women will bring the Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Detention Camps protest to Jefferson County on Friday. (Jeannie McMacken/Peninsula Daily News)

Child detention protest planned for Friday in Port Townsend

Event part of ‘Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Detention Camps’ movement

PORT TOWNSEND — A demonstration is planned Friday at the Adams Street pocket park on Water Street to bring awareness to what members of the Jefferson County Immigrant Rights Advocates call “the private prisons holding children at the border.”

Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Detention Camps is a worldwide protest that will be mirrored in Port Townsend from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Its purpose is to focus on the conditions faced by refugees at the border, especially what the children are experiencing, according to organizers.

Julia Cochrane said she wants to engage in conversation that day and considered how to graphically demonstrate what is going on at the border.

She thought cages were a good idea — and dolls — all to represent the concept of migrant children being held. So her organizing group, which includes Jean Walat and Linda Murphy, have been gathering supplies for the event.

“One of the primary reasons for doing this is to show people are standing up against this behavior that is so objectionable,” Walat said. “It’s antithetical to our country. We hope to engage with people and continue the conversation.”

Cochrane said it’s difficult to get in at the border facilities to offer aid.

“The children have no supplies like soap or personal hygiene items or food, so people and organizations started bringing these items, Murphy said.

“The facilities told them they didn’t need them, don’t want them and they shut them out.”

Murphy said the protest is to show different alternatives to what’s going on right now and how it can be ended.

“We want people to take action,” Walat said. “We have lists of things we can do. Stand up and speak out. Write letters and postcards to government officials and private companies that are supporting the whole detention network, the private prisons.”

“We’re encouraging people to find out where their money is invested, too,” Murphy said. “If they have a 401(k), they should find out if their money is funding these detention centers.”

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Jefferson County Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at [email protected].

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