Marching for humanity in Salem

About 1,000 supporters of immigrant rights and humane treatment for all people marched on the Oregon State Capitol on Saturday, Jan. 14, braving freezing temperatures to demand keeping families united and reject hate. 

Speakers committed passionate support for all Oregonians on the eve of a new presidential administration. Click here to see photos from the march.

“Today Oregonians stand as one to say yes for building hope… and no to religious registries, no to walls and no to ripping away the health freedoms of women in Oregon,” U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden said.

Wyden said the United States welcomed his family when they fled the Nazis in Europe – “and with your help, America will always be welcoming.”

OSEA President Tim Stoelb said immigrant members have enriched schools and the students served.

“I stand with you today to defend our common heritage, to defend keeping families together, to defend every child’s right to a quality public education, and to demand that this nation continues to be a nation for all people,” Stoelb said.

Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain said the marchers are “the resistance to an inhumane agenda… We stand today as a workers’ army, understanding that an injury to one is an injury to all.”

Congressman Kurt Schrader pledged to “fight against any racist or xenophobic legislation President Trump may try to pursue.

“I don’t want any more letters from children in Salem who are afraid to go to school because they think their parents will get deported,” Schrader said.

Additional words of encouragement came from new state Reps. Diego Hernandez and Teresa Alonso Leon, both of whom shared their own stories of coming from immigrant families.

“I came to this country as a child because my parents, like many others, were trying to build a better life for their children,” said Alonso Leon, who recounted picking berries in the field during summers to help support the family.

Marchers then took a turn around downtown Salem, chanting “This is what democracy looks like – this is what unity looks like!”

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