By David Loomis
INDIANA – A heated national debate over immigration on the U.S.-Mexico border echoed for an hour on opposite sidewalks in downtown Indiana on Friday evening.
Social media earlier in the week had promoted the 5:30-6:30 p.m. protest at IRMC Park.
“We must protest these outrageous conditions that are causing unspeakable human suffering in our country,” read the invitation from local activist Lynne Alvine, organizer of the Do Not Look Away — Stand up for Liberty event. “We will have local citizens speak to the issues and offer suggestions for action.”
The rally opposing reported inhumane conditions at federal detention centers for migrant children also drew counter-demonstrators who waved American flags and displayed Trump presidential campaign regalia.
Speeches by immigration-policy protesters on the west side of Seventh Street contended with chants of counter-protesters on the east side. A protest anthem on the west competed with patriotic anthems on the east.
Participants estimated the more diverse crowd opposing the administration’s controversial child-detention policies outnumbered the group supporting the administration’s actions by about 80 to 30.
Borough police were present. Officers did not intervene in the exchanges between opposing groups.
David Loomis, Ph.D., emeritus professor of journalism at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, is editor of The HawkEye.
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