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Lights for Liberty detention camp protest held in South Bend Friday

NOW: Lights for Liberty detention camp protest held in South Bend Friday

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- Across the United States and the world tonight protesters gathered for the nationwide protest called Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Concentration Camps.

Dozens came out to the local protest outside the federal courthouse in South Bend Friday organized by local nonprofits. Organizers said the protest was meant to shine a light on abuses happening at detention centers in the United States.

“We’re protesting the fact that children are being ripped from their parents, that children and their families are being held in detention way longer than they should be,” Jackie Bartus, who came out to join the protest with her family.

Bartus said it’s necessary to speak out against what she called despicable living conditions at detention centers at the southern border. Others who came out to the protest also said the living conditions are what inspired them to protest.

“Hearing about the way they are crammed into a room that maybe fits 100 really upsets me,” Mary Heller said, who participated in the protest. “I am really upset with the way Trump and the administration are treating the children. They really have no sympathy at all.”

Speakers at the protest read statements from 75 children in detention to shed a light on the reality of their stay at the southern border. One story detailed a child separated from her aunt and cousins and another described 13 people living out of one room.

The protest is something those who participated in South Bend are hoping inspires lawmakers to push the current administration towards change. Indiana State Representative Ross Deal (D-7th) was also in the crowd of protesters Friday. He said the attention on the problem is the first step towards change.

“It’s unacceptable, we need to get the attention of the administration of our representatives in congress and we need to tell them to stop it,” Deal said.

Friday’s protest closed with a candlelit vigil meant to represent those lights of liberty lighting up everywhere around the world tonight.

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