On Monday over 150 youth turned out to protest at the Broward Transitional Center, an immigrant detention center in Broward County, Florida. The protest was a part of the E.N.D. (Education Not Deportation) campaign led by Students Working for Equal Rights in Florida.
“This place [the detention center] was set up for people who have committed no crime,” said Maria Rodriguez, the coalition’s executive director. “Do we want our tax dollars spent on housing and detaining people who have committed no crime?”
One of the lead organizers of the action commented:
For many of the youth present this was their first Action, and I commend their courage to stand, chant, and demand change in front of the source of our community’s pain.
Courage isn’t a powerful enough adjective to describe what these young activists possess. They are motivated, passionate and they come armed with a list of demands from which they absolutely refuse to back down. The first of which is:
-An END to the unjust criminalization of youth! For example, undocumented and nonresident youth with no criminal record that are only trying to go to college and further their careers.
-An END to the wasteful spending in our government going to the construction of prisons and detention centers while our educational system continues to deteriorate and suffer.
-An END to the deportations of American DREAMers! (DREAM Act beneficiaries)
Check out a video of the youth protestors from Monday in the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
And be sure to read Juan Rodriguez’s inspirational: Reflections on my Journey on the Florida Immigrant Coalition’s blog. Juan is an integral part of SWER and the youth-led movement for immigrant rights.
Picture courtesy of SWER’s Facebook page.