The protesters assembled outside of the detention center participated in a program organized by TUFF member and videographer Matt Gossage that included performances by community members and local artists. Pamela Resendez, who was detained in Hutto after speaking out against police brutality in her community, decried the treatment of immigrants under the current system; a man formerly detained at the Polk Detention Center described his experience in the facility, including guard-on-inmate violence and forced labor. Annanda Barclay, a student at Austin Theological Presbyterian Seminary, called on the Christian community to show support for their detained brothers and sisters in Christ saying, “this is anti God, this is anti Christ, this is not ok. Prisons for profit are a form of enslavement.” Son Armado and Fandango Tejas performed music and Natalie Goodnow directed a theatre performance.
In solidarity with the men behind Polk Detention Center’s wall, activists cried “We see you! We hear you! We are here!”
Many thank to all the people who made this vigil so successful, some who are listed here and many who are not; thanks in addition to the dozens who dedicated their Saturday to protesting the human rights violations at the detention center. To see footage from the event, please visit Matt Gossage’s video on Youtube.