MISSOULA – Hundreds of people joined numerous social justice organizations in a national day of protest against the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Saturday in Missoula.
Marchers began at the bronze fish at the Clark Fork Market and passed all downtown markets, chanting and holding signs. They urged people to join them at the Missoula County Courthouse where organizations including ACLU Montana and the YWCA had tables set up with information about the current administration’s policy on separating the families of illegal immigrants.
One vocal supporter is the Reverend John Lund who spent several days in Portland during their 24-hour protests in front of an ICE detention facility.
“I think it’s so great to have Missoula come out and fill this lawn with so many people, and the energy and the power. This is going on across the whole country," Lund said. "I thought it is awakening people up to say we have to stand up and care about each other or else we’re gonna be in real trouble as a whole country.”
Lund and several of his colleagues participated in the demonstrations to show solidarity. Moved by the success in Portland, he spoke in front of a crowd alongside other community members to urge them to take action.
“Separating families… and when you start calling people animals, we have a long history in this country of doing that to other people. We did that to African Americans we did that to indigenous people… for many many years in the scars are horrible and horrendous," Lund said.
"Many of us are descendants of immigrants who also had difficult times coming through. It’s our job to keep that American dream alive. Where all people have that chance for life, liberty, in the pursuit of happiness," he concluded.