‘Refugees aren’t prisoners’ reads one of the signs made at the poster-making night held by Liberty for Lights vigil organizer, Sara Ann Phillips. (Sara Philips/Facebook)

‘Never again is right now,’ say locals organizing a silent vigil to protest U.S. migrant detention

Friday’s event at the B.C. Legislature will be one of many around the world

Feelings of shock and helplessness led Sara Ann Phillips to plan Victoria’s Lights for Liberty Vigil to End Human Concentration Camps.

The event, planned for Friday, July 12, is part of a worldwide silent vigil for the migrants being held in U.S. detention centres.

She heard about the vigils by Lights for Liberty — a coalition dedicated to supporting human rights and democracy — and began searching for the closest event to attend but couldn’t find anything.

Phillips assumed she was looking in the wrong places until she realized no one had planned a vigil in Victoria. So, she started a Facebook event on Monday at midnight and began the process of getting the Victoria vigil registered on the Liberty for Lights website in time for July 12.

READ ALSO: Acting U.S. border boss quits amid uproar over migrant children

Phillips’ brother, Brendan Phillips, has been lending a hand. She contacted him on Tuesday and they’ve been working hard to organize the entire event in just a few days.

“This is about regular citizens around the world telling their governments that it’s time to take a stand against the inhumane treatment [in the U.S.],” notes Brendan.

Phillips, a registered psychiatric nurse who is currently on maternity leave, isn’t new to activism but she had never planned an event like this.

“The process has been empowering,” she says. It hasn’t been without challenges, but everyone has been helping out — even her children.

Phillips initially expected about three people to attend, but as of Thursday afternoon, 30 people had indicated they’d attend and 84 had marked that they were interested.

Brendan hopes the event will raise awareness and spark action.

“When there’s governments in the world that are dehumanizing groups of people, it’s important to take a stand,” he says.

READ ALSO: Five things to know about Canadian immigration detention centres

He also hopes to enlighten people when it comes to the scope of the issue.

The vigil is also meant to get the attention of governments around the world, says Phillips.

“This is an opportunity for Canadians to stand up and speak out about the atrocities at the U.S. [and] Mexico border,” she says. “Never again is right now.”

At 8:30 p.m., attendees will meet in front of the B.C Legislature building and light their candles at 9 p.m. with the rest of the world. So far, there are eight other vigils scheduled across Canada.

To learn more about the vigil, visit the event Facebook page or check the Lights for Liberty website.


@devonscarlett
devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

BREAKING: Police raid 23-year-old cannabis compassion club in Victoria

Supports gather outside the Cannabis Buyers Club on Johnson Street

Father of murdered Realtor writes letter, pleading for help from Saanich mayor

Lindsay Buziak was stabbed to death on Feb. 2, 2008, her case remains open

Despite reports, no one found in Saanich donation bin

Police confirmed no one found stuck or in the area

Saanich man discovers hidden corners of city while cycling every street in Victoria

Cyclist maps progress while taking on 2019 goal to cover every street with road sign

B.C. to restrict nicotine content, bring in 20% tax on vaping products

Province will also restrict candy and fruit flavoured vaping products to adult-only stores

POLL: Do you support CUPE workers in their dispute with School District 63?

SD63 schools to remain closed as strike continues Tuesday

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 12

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Use of force deemed justifiable in arrest of suspect after snowy chase near Nanaimo

Independent Investigation Office of B.C. reports on incident from late last winter

B.C. woman sends fight to reduce preventable medical errors to Victoria

Teri McGrath and South Okanagan senior’s centre members presented 150 signature petition to local MLA

B.C. First Nation Chief Ed John faces historic sex charges

John served as minister for children and families under then-premier Ujjah Dosanjh

Transgender inmate in Surrey denied transfer to women’s prison

Petitioner argued denial of transfer to women’s prison was unreasonable and unfair

Community uses loophole to paint 16 rainbow crosswalks after B.C. council says no

So far 11 rainbows are painted and five planned, all since council denied the first proposal in September

Most Read