'Lights For Liberty' Vigil Friday Night

By: William F. Galvin

Topics: Civil Rights and Justice

HARWICH — Harwich Center will be aglow with light on Friday night as residents come together for a vigil protesting conditions faced by refugees, one of many Lights for Liberty rallies planned across Cape Cod and around the nation.

“This year images of children suffering in U.S. detention camps (mostly privately run and thus not subject to review) have outraged us all and we are turning our outrage into action, to demand that the Trump administration close camps immediately, free the children, reunite them with their families and relatives and stop the war on immigrants,” local organizer Maria Rudden wrote in an email to The Chronicle.

Rudden was one of the prime sponsors of the non-binding resolution approved by town meeting this spring allowing selectmen to authorize town law enforcement and town officials to refrain from using town funds and resources to enforce federal immigration laws to the extent permissible by law.

Rudden is urging people to rally against the administration’s treatment of people who are fleeing persecution and trying to find a better life for themselves and their families.

“All of us are demonstrating against the treatment of immigrants, adults and especially children, at the different determent facilities throughout the country and at our southern border,” Rudden said. “All these horrible practices are being carried out in our name, forgetting that we all come from immigrants except those born Native American.”

The rally will take place from 7:30 to 9 p.m. in Harwich Center at the intersection of Routes 124 (Pleasant Lake Avenue) and 39, across from Red’s NY Pizza and Bar, she said. Rudden is urging attendees to bring flashlights, candles or votives, cell phones and other implements to light up the night in solidarity with others throughout the nation.

Rudden is also urging participants to bring signs protesting the treatment of immigrants.

There are 13 vigils planned across the Cape and Islands on Friday, including at the Orleans Village Green at the corner of Main Street and Route 28 from 4 to 5:30 p.m.; at the Chatham Town Hall from 9:30 to 11 a.m.; and at First Parish Brewster Unitarian Universalist Church 4:30 to 6 p.m. There are also vigils planned in Dennis, Eastham, Falmouth, Hyannis, Provincetown and Wellfleet. The events are sponsored by a variety of organizations, including the Cape Cod Coalition for Safe Communities. For more information, visit lightsforliberty.org.