LETTER: Setting the record straight about the GEO protest

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DEAR EDITOR: I couldn’t resist writing about the detention center protest on Friday after reading two articles in The Sentinel and attending the City Council meeting July 15.

The council women who attended the rally made it clear they were not representing the city, and only said a few words; they did nothing wrong.

We have the right to assemble and speak! In the past month, I have attended two rallies at the Aurora detention center because I am incensed at what is happening which is inhumane and un-American. People are coming from South America for several reasons; climate crisis where food can’t be grown, American policies and coups and dangerous conditions where they fear their lives. I believe most of us would flee those conditions as well!   

The first rally with about 150 people took us past windows where young men peered out and held up signs saying “Help” and “We’ve been here for 7 months.” 

I was in tears.  We wanted to help, but all we could do is shout words of encouragement. The second time those windows were covered so they could not see nor hear our support.  The second rally was bigger with about 2,000 — from infants to people 80 years or more. I saw several people that I knew and there was only a small contingent who disobeyed the rules and crossed the bridge…they were the ones who took down the flag. 

In no way were council people or the majority of the crowd engaged in that endeavor! In fact, we were actually told to disperse in case there would be any arrests by those who had crossed the line.

The rally and speakers were peaceful and most of us left immediately when asked to do so. It ruined our plans for a candlelight vigil….a few stayed for that. 

People who are calling out those who attended this rally were NOT there in person to witness what happened. Since Congress and this administration will not act to stop these atrocities, tensions are rising and I am afraid that violence may become more common and pronounced. Everyone is frustrated and angry as we should be, but the majority of us are still protesting peacefully.

Let’s urge our electeds to stop these practices now so that things don’t escalate instead of putting down those who seek to improve things.

— Sandra Reavey, via [email protected]