Submitted by Don Doman.
I arrived a good half hour early. I lost count of friends, Rotarians, organizations, elected officials (past and present), kids, bikes, and families as I walked around People’s Park. The people were open and congenial. The weather was constantly threatening, but the people weren’t.
Protestors spoke their minds, but everyone in attendance I met at the Families Belong Together Rally were of the same mind. The efforts and policies of the Trump Administration, which has been separating children from their families, are inhumane, high-handed, and abusive. The message was pretty clear, the America these people believe in is still alive and well.
On street parking was the only parking available for the event. The police began blocking off the area around People’a Park beginning around 11:30.
People of all colors were there enjoying themselves. Dogs were on leashes. Individuals were laughing, reveling in themselves and each other. The people were dedicated and serious, but everyone was comfortable with each other. Pre-printed signs were available if you wanted to do more than just listen.
Statements were being made by everyone. I even a baby stroller with a sign bigger than the baby. There was no lack of direction. The crowd of four hundred people knew why they were there. Many people had their own home-made signs just to make sure their feelings were known and shown.
The event offered many different speeches and a little chanting. Entertainment was delivered appropriately by Tacoma’s Refugee Choir.
Representative Derek Kilmer mentioned he had visited with twenty-two women at Tacoma’s Northwest Detention Center. Mothers separated from their children is not what this country is about. Kilmer said it all, “I can’t get their sobs out of my head.”
Diversity is what Tacoma is all about. It was nice to both see and hear comments from our Muslim neighbors.
The event was run by Miriam Barnett, CEO of YWCA Pierce County. She did a great job and her tee-shirt spoke for everyone: Enough!
Similar events were being held around the nation and around Washington State. Although some other rallies had thousands of protestors, the event here in Tacoma had just the right touch. It felt like home . . . and family.