Like a lot of Blue Jersey readers, I’ve been going to a lot of protests lately. And while every day is a day worthy of protest under this administration, something about today was extra special.
I arrived at the Here to Stay rally at Liberty State Park in Jersey City expecting charged up crowds and calls to action. And while there was plenty of that, the mood at this glorious International Workers’ Day event was absolutely ebullient.
Perhaps it was the comforting presence of the dozens of allies in attendance who have been leading on this issue for years. Perhaps it was fact that mainstream politicos were using it simply as another campaign stop, celebrating sanctuary and fair and welcoming policies rather than hedging on the issue.
But the real reason it was ebullient was because despite Jersey City comprising the Hudson County Correctional Facility, where deputized facility officers function as ICE representatives and are authorized to issue immigration detainers, the second largest city in New Jersey is a self-declared “sanctuary city.” People understand that they are part of a national movement and there is comfort and power in numbers.
Or, as Marge Piercy writes in the Low Road:
“Two people can support each other…a dozen make a demonstration…a hundred fill a hall… it starts when you do it again, even after they said no, it starts when you say we, and each day you mean one more.”