NOTES FROM THE TRAIL

Vigil Day 1: Disappointment Turns into Hope

Tags: vigil_first

Posted on May 5, 2011 by felipe | Post a comment

Earlier yesterday we had woken up feeling comforted by the certainty that Florida State Senators would side with reason and the economic well being of the state instead of their political party.  Unfortunately, our predictions were not true. The Florida senate passed SB2040, a bill that mimic Arizona’s anti-immigrant law’s intention to humiliate and make life harder for immigrants, passed without much debate or consideration.  Although various sources told us that the House of Representatives would not have enough votes to pass the bill on that chamber we were not about to make the same mistake. We will not get our guard down!

 

Immediately after the vote many of us met outside Representative Lopez-Cantera’s office to secure his commitment to the issue. We were sad but definitely not defeated and we found strength on our struggle.  As we were holding hands and white flowers to symbolize our devotion to non-violent resistance our group decided to start a vigil that would only end on the last day of the legislative session on Friday at 5PM.

 

This was a hard decision and my heart was full of doubts at first. I didn’t know if people would show up or if this sacrifice would be meaningless to a positive resolution to our predicament. There were parts of the day that I was the only person here holding a sign that said, “We are Florida”. However, my personal conviction and the trust I had on my peers made me trust that things would fall into place. Soon thereafter Kathy Bird from the Florida Immigrant Coalition came with supplies, Carlos Pereira from the Centro del Orientacion al Imnigrante came with the permit, people dropped off water and little by little people came to show support. That’s when I realized that stopping is not an option!

 

Now I’m here on a small piece of grass right outside the office of the one person that can make sure my life doesn’t turn into a living hell. My legs are full of mosquito bites, the hot sun burns my skin and I have only slept two hours last night but my head is high. I am grounded on our collective path for liberation that makes me stay here and hold the line for as long as I can. But we need everyone help, please join us at 2300 Coral Way, Miami, FL, 33145. We’ll be here but we need your voice so we can become louder as a community. Everyone counts and your presence could give us the motivation to stay longer and to fight harder.

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