By Brooklynn Wong
The issue of family separation at the United States’ southern border that has been hotly debated in the nation’s capitol has come home. A large rally was held recently in downtown Los Angeles, and on Friday, June 29, the protestation was seen on an even more micro-level.
The group Indivisible CA-39 protested outside of Representative Ed Royce’s downtown Brea office.
The group has protested outside of Royce, a Republican’s, office a number of times in the past couple of months over partisan topics such as Donald Trump’s tax plan and their disdain at the way Royce has voted on certain issues.
This time they called their event the “Lego Toys for Liberation Rally,” in which they encouraged participants to bring legos, which would be handed over to Royce as symbols of the migrant children.
The protest didn’t get going until at least a half hour after its slotted start time; slowly but surely a crowd of about 20 gathered in front of Royce’s office carrying signs, one reading “Compassion not confinement,” another, “The character of our country is at stake—humanity first.”
A couple of Brea police officers stood nearby, outside of the Brea Police Department Annex next to Royce’s office, but things did not at any point get heated. Unlike at some of Indivisible CA-39’s other rallies, no counter protestors could be seen.
The protest gained a little steam, as they began chanting, led by someone with a megaphone.
They were not in front of Royce’s office for very long, as they made their way out to the corner of Brea Boulevard and Imperial Highway, where they could gain more visibility and not be so much of an imposition to the shoppers and diners in downtown Brea.
They garnered more feedback then, with lots of cars honking as they drove by. The protestors chanted in English and Spanish, and were diverse in age. One woman was there with her child in a stroller.
Their many homemade signs incorporated photos, newspaper clippings, and written words.
Indivisible CA-39 Action Committee Member Patricia Hanzo called the event a success.
She said, “Each person wrote their thoughts and request on a comment sheet…seeking that he speak up….On Friday the 29th we recognized the thousands of babies and children that were kidnapped by this administration….These children must be reunited with their parent. Our government must respect human rights. It is not a crime to seek asylum. House Rep. Ed Royce must use his office and platform to help these children, speak up and vote; protest in DC and resist the wrongdoings of Attorney General Sessions.”
The Independent reached out to Royce’s office for a statement, but had not received a response by press time.
California’s 39th congressional district encompasses parts of LA, Orange, and San Bernardino Counties, and includes diverse areas such as Buena Park, Anaheim Hills and Chino Hills.
Royce has announced that he will retire at the end of this term.
The root of the debate stems from the separation of detained parents and children when they attempt to enter the United States. President Trump quickly signed an executive order ending the policy after the initial uproar. However Republicans and Democrats have still been at a standstill, the former claiming that this is a policy that has long been held and is not a product of our current President, and the latter not seeing it that way.
Read more about Indivisible CA-39 at indivisibleca39.org, and about Royce at royce.house.gov.