Saturday Rally Brings People Together to Protest Trump’s Immigration Policies

Nearly two hundred people gathered at West Hollywood Park on Saturday afternoon in one of many events around the country staged to protest Donald Trump’s immigration enforcement efforts that have included separating children from their families.

The rally was organized by City Councilmember Lauren Meister. While all speakers decried the Trump administration’s move to separate immigrant children from their families, the major message was the importance of getting out to vote getting active in political issues.

Ivy Bottini, an activist in her early 90s who is known national and locally for her action on women’s rights and other issues, decried what she called a community too lazy to vote.

“Get off your asses and bring back ACT-Up,” Bottini said, referring to the activist group that pushed successfully for government and medical industry action on HIV/AIDS. “I’m on your tail, and I’m watching you.”

A number of other local and national political activists spoke. One of them was Rob Reiner, the actor, filmmaker and activist who has been particularly outspoken about the removal of immigrant children from their families. Reiner and his wife, Michelle, recently travelled to Torntillo, Tex., where they condemned Trump’s decision to separate the children from their parents seeking asylum.

Also speaking were Mayor John Duran, a Latino who is chair of the National Association of Latin Elected Officials; Steve Rohde, who is a former president of the ACLU of Southern California and past chair of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice. Currently, he is chair of Death Penalty Focus and Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace; Sepi Shyne, the co-chair of community engagement for the Human Rights Campaign Chapter; Chaz Bono, the actor and author whose most recent work was on “American Horror Story.” Many of the speakers were captured in the video above produced byRenee Sotile and MJ Godges of LGBT Hollywood.

The event was one of many across the nation staged as part of what was called a “Families Day of Action.” They were sparked by Trump’s recently rescinded decision to take children of immigrants seeking asylum away from the parents and house them in places that critics have described as “cages.”

“Frankly, I don’t recognize our country anymore. And, like others, I’m sad, and I’m angry, and I’m frustrated, and I want this administration to stop their insane and inhumane policies,” Meister said in explaining her reason for proposing the protest.

While Trump on June 21 reversed his order that children of immigrants seeking asylum be separated from the parents, it still isn’t clear how his administration will implement his change in the policy. According to a story in The New York Times, it still faces legal and practical obstacles. “…. And the president’s order does nothing to address the plight of the more than 2,300 children who have already been separated from their parents under the president’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy.”

Mayor John Duran speaking at ‘Families Belong Together’ rally at West Hollywood Park. (Image courtesy of Renee Sotile & MJ Godges, LGBT Hollywood)

14 Comments
  1. I must have attended the same rally as David Reid. When I arrived, the crowd on the north side was very dense and there were people even standing in the bike lane. I walked around trying to find a little shade and the areas on the south side back under the trees were filled with people.

    Maybe Earl Eason was attending a different rally.

  2. David Reid. I was there, and I agree that it was an awesome event. But the crowd was no where near 500! i was constantly looking around and counting and I figured 150 at the most (and yes, I stayed til the end). A lot of folks told me they were upset at the poor turnout and the fact that very few young people were there. They all looked to be about my age (62!). We need to find a way to engage them

    1. You have got to be kidding, from the video alone there were at-least 500 people who took part in West Hollywood’s Families Belong Together Rally! YES I was NOT there because of a few of my friends getting arrested at other much larger “Families Belong Together” rallies. Throughout the nation these rallies made national headlines for having thousands and even tens of thousands of people. This is a national if not international issue so politically it makes sense for efforts to be focused elsewhere than West Hollywood, a point many I know have been arguing with me well before the rally. Even in West Hollywood from the video alone it was hardly a poor turnout and, there were plenty of young people. Don’t give up so quickly on the old people, recall that many like Karl Marx did great things when they were older! Many of my young activist friends were busy with political direct actions before any protests to call attention to the issue, like what I did during the WTO protests in Seattle and Occupy Wall Street.

      Families Belong Together Rally from Washington, D.C.

      Holocaust survivor Irene Butter speaks against Trump’s separation of immigrant families at the “Families Belong Together” rally in Michigan

      Racist policy failure on a very large scale!

        1. YES! This is all hopes for NOT upsetting Henry (Hank) Scott for setting off another posting war on the comments section over a tangent whose relevance to the original topic I will have to defend.

          Who was Karl Marx? | DW Documentary

          A good movie we should have shown here in West Hollywood!
          The Young Karl Marx – Trailer

          “Noam Chomsky”: Why you can not have a Capitalist Democracy!

          Clearly Karl Marx was the founder of Modern Sociology using the scientific method to understand human behavior. His work in economics laid the foundation for understanding labor and its relation to capital where several of his concepts, like those related to capital accumulation and the business cycle, are used to this day in every capitalist system. There is far more that I could go into but, to cut to the chase, his argument against capitalism is NOT a “snow flake” argument that we need revolution to fix the evils of it but, its OWN inherent contradictions and failures will bring about its demise!

    2. 150 or 500 attendees. That’s quite the discrepancy.

      I’d say about 175, with only 50 knowing the words to “This Land Is Your Land”.

      1. Referring to the links in my prior posting, you can see where in all other events of the “Families Belong Together Rally” the discrepancy was far larger than the entire attendance of the West Hollywood rally.

        You might not aware of the fact that Woody Guthrie’s song “This Land Is Your Land,” was a protest song! His most famous song, “This Land Is Your Land,” was written in 1940 in response to Kate Smith’s “God Bless America.” He along with most people at the time saw ‘God Bless America’ as a strident, jingoistic, complacent, tub-thumping anthem to American imperialism! At the height of McCarthyism (something Trump and his supporters idolize), Guthrie spoke out for labor and civil rights and against fascism.
        See the book:
        Woody Guthrie, American Radical
        by Will Kaufman

        All the kids in our school system today can tell you all about this from their “diversity” and “multicultural” course work they have completed! 🙂

  3. The speakers were powerfuI. They were not repetitive. Rob Reiner got the crowd pumped up for J. Duran who gave one of his best stump speeches ever. There was talk of long term fixing the damage to be done by the new supreme court pick . (2020 a democratic prez, senate and house could/would/should increase the Court to eleven members. FDR pushed it to nine from seven to accomplish his programs. Chaz Bono wisely pointed out the need to reach out to friends in ‘red’ areas to flip those house seats. (I would have suggested stronger measures of using addresses or friends in those districts and contacting existing members as though you were a constituent. I digress.)
    It was a great gathering. There was even a sing-a-long. Nothing unites like singing together. Well worth the time and effort to provide a local outlet for those not wanting to trek downtown. It was a seed planted that should grow. Not to nit pick but the crowd was well over 200. A score of baby buggies and at least 20 to 30 toddlers. The all brought their parents as well. That was at least 100 of the crowd. It was at most any moment after the rally began at 400. And there was a constant ingress and egress of folks. After reviewing video and photos, which I would post if the page would allow, the crowd was easily at 500 and likely more. If enthusiasm was calculable this number would double.
    Why rally? Because it is important to know you are not alone in your fears for our country, for our framework of government.
    If you don’t vote you don’t count but you will still suffer the ills brought by your inaction. And it doesn’t cost a dime for you to register and vote. (VBM-voting by mail will set you back 45¢.
    Also ACT UP should be in ALL CAPS. It is an acronym AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power. Thank you Larry Kramer.

  4. Families were separated under the Obama administration. But the democrats are pushing for more division which is only going to unite more people to vote for Trump, who has done more for this country than any other president in my lifetime. I’m not a Republican. But I don’t agree with the Democrat party anymore. It’s become a socialist big government institution that is taking rights away. It’s filled with contradictions. It promotes abortion, drugs/BigPharma, violence etc. while claiming to care about children.

    Of course no one wants families torn apart but we also don’t want open borders. No country has open borders. I find that the communities that are highly Democrat in concentration seem to have the most crime and poverty. It’s not the party I grew up with and all the evidence of criminal behavior is published on Wikileaks, etc.

    1. I find that the communities that are highly Democrat in concentration seem to have the most crime and poverty. —-VERY TRUE.

    2. “No country has open borders.”

      The US had no federal immigration law until 1875. So while true in the present tense, let’s not forget our history. Also, NO ONE is advocating for “open borders” except LIARS trying to distort other people’s views.

      Exactly what rights are being taken away by Democrats?? Please be specific.

      As for communities with high crime, it only stands to reason that urban environments with more people are going to have more crime, and usually, more urban environments support the Democrats.

      And by the way, it’s DEMOCRATIC not Democrat as an adjective. The only people who use the term Democrat as an adjective as right wing loony escapees from Faux News.

      1. No, it’s Democrat party. It can be described as “Democratic”, but the name of the party is Democrat.

  5. It would have been nice to hear more of Duran in that video and less of the others. After all, he was the best speaker.

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