'Let My People Stay' Rings Out in Foley Square at Massive Demonstration

Demonstrators in Foley Square Friday night "Lights For Liberty" protest against the Trump administration's immigration policies. Photo: Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib

Jul. 13, 2019

Protesters packed Foley Square Friday evening to denounce the threatened roundup and deportation of a reported 2,000 undocumented immigrants in 10 states. As dusk settled into darkness, the crowd lit candles in solidarity with thousands around the country taking part in “Lights For Liberty” demonstrations.

“Let my people stay,” they sang, with candles raised. 

Chants of “Shut them down” and “Close the camps” also rang out across the square as protestors demanded that President Trump abolish the country’s squalid detention centers.

“We have to fight this president and what he does,” Rep. Jerrold Nadler said, speaking from the stage. “We are not complicit in the racism and the bigotry and the child abuse and the manslaughter that is going on.”

The mass roundups reportedly did not materialize on Sunday, as Trump had promised, and Mayor Bill de Blasio said there had been no arrests of undocumented immigrants in the city, though I.C.E. officers had made attempts in Harlem and Sunset Park.

But Bill O. Hing, director of the University of San Francisco's Immigration and Deportation Defense Clinic, told the Washington Post, “Trump can declare victory—he already scared the hell out of people. There has been so much drama all over the country.

Below, scenes from the Foley Square demonstration. Photos by Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib