By Ruth Campbell, Enlace Intern
New to Los Angeles and fresh from another semester at college across the country, one of the first places I visited in my new home in my role as intern for Enlace was the Twin Towers Correctional Facility. It was June 13th and, after initial directional difficulties, I had arrived at the Father’s Day protest to find a diverse crowd including representatives of groups all across Los Angeles gathered to stand up to detention and deportation, calling for the release of fathers and loved ones. Though new to the city, I felt oddly at ease among this group in front of the prison as I listened to speeches and prayers in English and in Spanish hoping for the reunification of families. Petitions were passed around pleading for everything from individual cases to larger immigration reform. The correctional facility is huge, and just inside I could see people gathered to observe us; as the rally wrapped up, we turned to face them and called, “Happy Father’s day!” and, “Feliz dia de los padres!”
Last week, Father’s Day drew crowds of protestors to jails and detention centers across the country in protest of the inhumane systems both corporate and federal that continue to fill them. Organized by the Detention Watch Network and the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), protests drew attention to absent fathers on Father’s Day. In Los Angeles, protestors rallied at the Los Angeles Metropolitan Detention Center and marched to the Twin Towers Correctional Facilities. Delegations from pro-immigrant organizations including the CLEAN Carwash Campaign, CHIRLA, APALC, CARECEN, COFEM, Korean Resource Center, L.A. County Federation of Labor, and SEIU attended.