St. Louis organizations arrive in Lawton for Ft. Sill protest

Published: Jul. 31, 2019 at 10:38 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - Protesters traveling from St Louis are in Lawton, gearing up for protest on Fort Sill Friday morning.

Protesters arrived in Lawton from St Louis, and will march on Ft. Sill to demand migrant children not be housed on post. The organization leading the protest is Heartland for Human Justice.

“We are a group that came together to work on immigration issues, especially to respond to the suffering we see for families," said Rabbi Susan Talve, a founder of Heartland for Human Justice.

“This is happening all over the county, families are being separated, children are being detained, and it’s happening in our own backyard in the Midwest," said Rori Neiss, the executive director of the Jewish community Relations Council.

Organizers said when they heard Senator Inhofe announced the plans had been put on hold, they had to make a decision on whether or not to go through with the 9 hour drive, and protest.

Now that they are here, they said it’s about preventing any future plans.

“The policy of family separation hasn’t ended, and just because this facility isn’t necessarily being open now, the message and symbolism of this location is still so poignant, having been used as a Japanese Internment Camp in WWII and housing migrant children under the Obama Administration," said Neiss.

“28 children have died on our watch in detention camps, We want to make sure that doesn’t happen again, No more Blood on our watch,” said Talve.

During the last protest on post, many people locked arms and blocked off traffic.

Neiss said their protest plans won’t get out of hand.

“We’re not anticipating getting rowdy at all. We are going to stand outside Ft. SIll, sing some songs, have some chants, and have our voices heard. It will be respectful, calm, and we dont plan on getting in any trouble,” said Neiss.

Neiss said the last protests seemed to make a big difference, but they are calling anyone in the area who wants to calmly have their voices heard to join them at Lawton Heights United Methodist tomorrow morning.

“For those people who don’t want to block a highway, for those people who don’t want to put htemselves on the line to be arrested, that’s not an excuse to still not speak out. We can still have avoice, even if it’s not a voice of disruption," said Neiss.

Because of the heat, Organizers said they will now take their buses to Lawton Heights Methodist and then onto Ft. Sill instead of marching.

Either way, any cars driving down Ft. Sill Blvd, Sheridan, or Rogers Lane should be looking out for these protesters anytime after nine AM,

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