On July 12, Virginia Garcia Nurse Midwife Mónica Arce will be thinking about the children who have died in U.S. custody after being detained by Border Patrol.
Mónica, along with thousands of others, will come together at Terry Schrunk Plaza in downtown Portland as part of a movement called Lights for Liberty, a national candlelight vigil to end human detention camps and protest the inhumane conditions faced by asylum seekers and refugees.
“I will personally be thinking of the six children who have lost their lives while in U.S. custody since September 2018: Wilmer Josué Ramírez, Carlos Gregorio Hernández Vásquez, Darlyn Cristabel Córdova-Valle, Felipe Gómez Alonzo, Juan de León Gutiérrez, and Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquin.”
Mónica, who is hosting the Portland vigil, expects people to start gathering at Terry Schrunk Plaza around 8 p.m.. Native Aztec dancers will be performing in ceremony as people come together. Several speakers will address the crowd around 8:40 p.m. and at 9 p.m., everyone will come together to light their candles and hold a minute of silence. Then, a group of children will start singing and everyone will walk to Pioneer Place (staying on sidewalks) to Tom McCall Waterfront Park and cross the Hawthorne Bridge.
“It is going to be beautiful with the lights going over the river and then crossing again on the other side, symbolically crossing the borders without fear, and with lots of love,” Mónica said.
Virginia Garcia is among a list of sponsors for the vigil.
Children First for Oregon
Nasty Women Get Shit Done
Oregon Latino Health Coalition
Pueblo Unido PDX
Stand in Every Corner PDX
Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center
The details of the event are below. To inquire about how to volunteer or sponsor this event, please contact the organizer.
Date: Friday, July 12
Time: 8 p.m. (moment of silence at 9 p.m.)
Location: Terry Schrunk Plaza (431 SW Madison St., Portland)
To learn more about the local Lights for Liberty vigil, visit the Portland chapter Facebook page.