Ventura County

Lights for Liberty march held in Camarillo ahead of reported ICE raids across country

CAMARILLO, Calif. - On the verge of more immigration deportations, a rally and march is being held in Camarillo Friday night.

As a series of nationwide immigration raids is set to begin, local activists have come together to fight against it.

“This march and rally today is called 'Lights for Liberty' and we are gathering as a community of Ventura County and demanding that refugees who are seeking asylum at the U.S. border are treated with the dignity and respect that all human beings deserve,” said Dr. Martha Martinez-Bravo, Executive Director of the Social Justice Fund for Ventura County.

The exact locations for the raids are unknown, but Los Angeles and San Francisco are expected to be targeted. This is leaving many living up and down the coast on edge.

“We think this is a perfect time to be a voice for the most marginalized and the most vulnerable,” said Martinez-Bravo. “We are informing our community about what their rights are and we will have that information available at that event today.”

The Friday night event steps out with music. Mariachis will lead the march.

More than 55 community organizations have come together to form a coalition of social justice to support undocumented people. 

Several Speakers are expected to talk include Shigeru Yabu who lived through the Japanese interment camps right after Pear Harbor.

“They made 10 camps where 12,000 Japanese were put into camps and I went to Heart Mountain, Wyoming,” said Yabu.

Yabu was only 10 years old when it happened.

“February the 19th, President Roosevelt had executive ordered 9066 to put us into an interment center, but in the meantime they had to get these temporary camps prepared,” said Yabu. “They had to get military police, fencing and so forth.”

Yabu says during his three years in the camp he wasn’t separated from his family. He doesn’t agree on what’s going on today.

“I don’t think you should separate the families, that is traumatic for the kids,” said Yabu.

“We demand the end of the criminalization of migrants and we demand abolition of family detention, traumatic family separation, and US detention camps,” said Martinez-Bravo. “These family separations are causing trauma, it is not only needless but it is cruel.”

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