San Luis Obispo County

Jewish organization holds immigrant rights rally protesting border detention camps

Jewish organization holds immigrant rights rally protesting border detention camps

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - A rally to advocate for immigrant rights was held in front of the San Luis Obispo County Courthouse on Sunday.

San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon spoke at the event on her recent visit to one of the border detention camps. 

"Often we hear the phrase never again when we talk about the Holocaust. We are here with the rest of the community to say 'never again,'" said Mayor Harmon.

The rally was held by Bend the Arc: Jewish Action and a coalition of supporting organizations.

"As Jews we know the immigrant experience, we are all just a generation or two removed from that experience," said Bend the Arc: Jewish Action representative Barry Price.

"We currently have people suffering at the border and children being separated from their parents," said 
Andrea Chmelik from Women's March SLO.

"They are taking immigrants and putting them in concentration-like centers," yelled one rally speaker. 

Bend the Arc says the history of the Holocaust is all too familiar to what they see happening today. 

"We also know what it's like to be targeted, what it's like to be demonized," said Price.

The rally is part of the national Defund Hate Campaign. The organization's goal is to reduce the budgets of ICE and Customs and Border Protection.

"We are calling on our congressman, representative Salud Carbajal, to endorse the Defund Hate principals," said Price. 

The rally's advocates say spending so much money on these organizations raids other agencies' budgets. 

"We want to put an end to the profiting of the private prison industry," said Price. 

The groups hope the rally will help eliminate what they call inhumane detention and deportation efforts.

"Those detained in these concentration-like centers are forced to sleep on concrete with little food," said another rally speaker. 

More than 30 similar public events are being held around the country this week between Jewish holidays. 


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