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Mon Aug 5, 2019, 12:34 PM

Activists to Hold First Vigil at GEO Facility Since Controversial July 12 Protest

Immigration-rights activists have been holding vigils with a few dozen participants outside of the immigrant detention facility in Aurora for a decade. But today, August 5, they are expecting a much larger turnout at the quarterly vigil, which will include testimony from people who have been detained in the facility.

"What’s interesting about this next one is, traditionally we have maybe forty to fifty people come, but considering what else has been happening, I assume this one will have quite a bit more interest," says Dana Miller of Indivisible Front Range Resistance.

Miller is referencing the increasing number of people across the U.S. who are paying attention to federal immigration enforcement in light of Donald Trump's controversial policies. A growing number of Denver metro residents have become concerned about the privately run immigrant detention facility that houses over 1,300 detainees right in Aurora. (The facility is run by private prison company GEO Group through a contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.)

The more intense focus on immigration policies is what led to the 1,000-plus person protest outside of the GEO facility on July 12 that made national headlines. Organizers of the demonstration expected it to be a march combined with a vigil. But around 100 protesters removed an American flag, GEO Group flag and Colorado flag from above the facility, replacing them with a Mexican flag and two anti-police flags. Conservative media outlets and Republicans were quick to criticize the protest and those who participated, and the Aurora Police Department has issued a summons for charges related to the removal and desecration of the flag.

Read more: https://www.westword.com/news/vigil-at-geo-group-facility-in-aurora-first-since-controversial-july-12-protest-11435452

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