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Rochester protesters chant “free our kids,” to shed light on children in ICE custody

ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -- On Sunday afternoon, "Free Our Kids" protesters marched along West Silver Lake Drive, to bring awareness to children in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers.

Protesters marching on West Silver Lake Dr. NE

The event was hosted by Rochester United and the Brown Berets of Minnesota.

"Today we decided to come out and do a protest a march for the kids that are in cages. The kids that are in ICE detention centers. You know, we want an end to that, we want to raise awareness to that. We're tired of basically, majority of the community turning a blind eye to it," said Capt. Ricardo Reyes, Brown Berets of Minnesota.

About 20 protesters marched from Silver Lake Park to Mayo Field. Many had signs and chanted: "free our kids," as well as, "no justice, no peace."

"It's actually more important for people that are not of these ethnicities to show up and show out and speak up. Because, if it shows that it is more than just us speaking then it's going to wake up those who, I guess feel, 'It's not happening to me, so it's not my problem,'" said protester, Jas Hardy.

Another protester came out with his children. He gave FOX 47 this statement regarding children in ICE custody.

"The kids, you know what I'm saying, they belong to their parents. Until, you know, they're ready to leave the nest," he said.

Reyes shared what families experience when being detained by ICE.

"Majority of the time, they don't even have warrants to go into houses and that's what they are doing. They're breaking into people's homes, pulling them out of their houses in front of kids and in front of family. And these are people like I said that wake up every day go to work and actually contribute to society," he said.

Hardy said she wishes more people understood the issues concerning the Black and Brown people.

"I guess I just wish that everybody would just, be quiet, listen, reflect. And then react and take in the information that everybody is trying to give to them, as far as our pain and our suffering and why we're mad," she said.

KaMaria Braye

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