Vigil to protest migrant detention camps planned for Friday at Norwich Harbor

Norwich — Local groups and human rights advocates will hold a vigil Friday evening at the Howard T. Brown Memorial Park to protest conditions at migrant detention centers at the U.S. southern border and call for closure of the camps.

The Lights4Liberty at 7 p.m. at Brown Park, 2 Chelsea Harbor Drive, Norwich, is part of a nationwide effort to protest the migrant detention camps, where thousands of asylum seekers have been held in locations near the Mexican border. Attendees will bring flashlights, glow sticks and electric candles. Organizers call the event “family-friendly.”

Donations of toiletries and other small nonperishable items will be collected and given to Connecticut-based Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services, or IRIS, which provides resettlement services to help refugees begin their new life in the United States. Some of the items IRIS needs include kitchen supplies, new or like-new linens, toiletries, reusable shopping bags, notebooks and pens, first aid items, and cleaning supplies.

At 7:30 p.m. Friday, advocates, activists and impacted persons will speak on the issue of human detention camps in the United States.

At 8:30 p.m., along with many other locations around the country and the world, participants will turn on lights in a silent vigil for all those held in U.S. detention camps, as well as against the Trump administration's immigration policies.

“We must come together to permanently end family detention and separation, ensure all families are reunited, and close the camps!” the organizers wrote in a news release announcing the Friday vigil.

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