Capital City Joins Nationwide Protest of Detainee Conditions

Jul 15, 2019

On Friday night about 150 people gathered at the state capital to protest detainee conditions at the U.S. southern border and in Homestead, Florida.

Credit Margie Menzel

Called "Lights for Liberty," the organizers said 700 cities participated in the vigil worldwide. In Tallahassee, Blair Clawson, a bilingual elementary school teacher, recalled a conversation with a boy newly arrived from Honduras.

"He said, 'I came to live with my abuelita, my grandmother.' And I said, 'And why did you come to live with your abuelita?' He said, 'Because both of my parents were murdered.' This is the personal face. This is not just simply seeking money, it's not seeking political power, it's not seeking to infiltrate our country. They are escaping imminent danger."

Protesters took turns standing on the Old Capitol steps to address the crowd. As darkness fell, they lit candles. On Monroe Street and Apalachee Parkway, drivers honked their horns in support or shouted angrily at the crowd.