The Prayer Vigil for Immigrants Rights, and Racial Tolerance was an absolute success. 75-80 people came down to Kennedy Park to join in prayer, song, witness, and solidarity for the ideals that all human beings are equal, and that NO human being is illegal. A collection was taken on behalf of the Santos family (torn apart by ICE) and on behalf of ARC's emergency legal aid fund. Over $350.00's was raised for these two worthy causes. In addition to 7 clergy as speakers, there were roughly four or five other clergy in the gathering, as well as numerous lay members of various churches, as well as activists, community leaders, and public officials. There were members of the immigrant community, as well as supportive friends and concerned citizens. It was truly a microchosm of all that makes Danbury such a wonderful city. And all were united in a single purpose, to support, and stand in solidarity with our Immigrant brethren.
The event was not even marred slightly by the few anti immigrant protesters who found their way down to the site of the Vigil, intent on creating disruption. One man held up a sign that said "Immigrants have no rights" and another member of CTIC showed up and started loudly complaining. The man with the sign stood at a respectful distance, perhaps realizing that disrupting a religious assembly would be a very unintelligent move. The woman was quickly reminded of that, and left shortly.
It was a truly inspirational day to those of us gathered at Kennedy Park. We have pledged to work together in the future, to educate, to support, and to protest when needed, all in solidarity with our Immigrant brethren.
You can read the Danbury News Times Coverage of the event here.
And keep an eye on Hat City Blog for full video coverage, and write ups regarding the vigil.