Group protests border policy

  • Jacob Erb, who is from Indiana but staying in town with family, held a sign reading “free the children” during an impromptu protest on the steps of the Peterborough Town House Thursday. Photo by Abby Kessler

  • A group of protestors stands on the steps of the Peterborough Town House Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Abby Kessler/ Monadnock Ledger-Transcript)  Photo by Abby Kessler—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript 

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 6/19/2018 5:29:06 PM

Protesters stood at the entrance of the Peterborough Town House on Thursday, holding signs reading things like “free the children,” and “families belong together.”

The group was part of a nationwide movement that took place in many cities across the United States in a bid to raise awareness about the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy toward undocumented immigrants. People rallied against policies that place migrant children in detention centers along the Mexican border.

Mason Loring Bliss, who lives in Peterborough, said he has been reading news articles about the situation. He said there have been instances where officials tell parents that they are going to take their children away for bathing, although the children never return. He said he recently read an article about a nursing mother whose child was ripped away from her near the border.

Bliss said the children are being put in detention centers, which are repurposed box stores like Wal-Mart in some cases. He said inside there are pictures of President Donald Trump inside of the centers with inspirational sayings strewn across them.

“There is nothing legally that says the children need to be separated, there is no cause for this and it is wrong, it’s un-American,” he said.

As Bliss was speaking on Thursday, a young child stood near him.

“Dad, can I get something special today?” the young girl asked.

“I don’t know, honey, you have to ask your mom,” Bliss responded.

The image of Bliss and his daughter was not lost on the people who came out to protest on Thursday.

“It is really wonderful that the children were able to come along with us ‘cause this demonstrates what we’re talking about,” Jim Giddings, of Greenville, said on Thursday.

He said all families are alike and should be treated equally.

Giddings, who organizes People Standing for Peace that takes every Saturday in Peterborough, questioned why the administration treats some families with respect and others like animals.

Bliss, who has children that range from nine weeks old to 15 years old, said he can empathize with families on the border.

“There are fathers like me that have no idea what is happening with their children, the same age as my children, simply because they come from another place and have a different skin color,” Bliss said. ” … I can empathize with the parents who are just scared and worried.”

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