Asylum advocates rally on campus

By on November 8, 2018

By Sam Combest–

Students and community members rallied outside the Student Activities Center (SAC) Nov. 7 in solidarity with the immigrant caravan coming from South America.

Organizers rallied to support asylum seekers trekking across Mexico toward the United States.

Members of the crowd carried American and Honduran flags with signs such as “Abolish ICE” and “stop the deportation.”

Also featured behind the rally were  two piñatas with the faces of President Donald Trump and now-former Attorney Jeff Sessions. The piñatas were filled with Planned Parenthood condoms, ACLU “know your rights” cards and candy.

U of L junior Jennifer Bencomo said the condoms “were meant to represent, that immigration rights are reproductive rights too. People are allowed to seek asylum for their entire family too,” she said.

Bencomo said the ACLU cards will inform people of their rights if they have run-ins with police or ICE agents.

“Every single person regardless of their immigration status has rights, and they need to know their rights,” said Bencomo.

The rally was organized by a community group known as Mijente and is a national organization. Mijente is a Pro-Latinx, Pro-Black, Pro-woman, pro-queer, and pro-poor organization according to their website.

Participants could be heard saying chants like “the people united will never be defeated.”

One member of the crowd told his story of  life in Honduras. He said he came from Lexington to be part of the rally.

Bencomo admitted there was no permit request made for the rally saying “liberation is not granted by politely asking. None of the folks that showed up asked for a permit because you don’t ask your oppressors permission to protest the oppression.”

While the rally was primarily aimed at the asylum seekers, it was also meant to remind others that no human is illegal.

Bencomo encourages members of the U of L community to do more than be keyboard warriors. She hopes that more people will join rallies, volunteer in their community and speak out against injustices.

“Ultimately we hope that people will show out and support issues that don’t directly affect them,” said Bencomo.

Photo By Sam Combest/ The Louisville Cardinal

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