By design protest signs and the people who carry them are the most visible part of any rally, demonstration or march. They pull the eye and, yes, camera lenses to focus on what often is a simple message. But those messages have meaning not just to those who took the time to scroll them out by hand, they also reflect the beliefs of a community.
The ‘A Day Without Immigrants’ protest in Marshall Park in uptown was full of just such signs.
Take this sign equating the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department and ICE, the federal agency charged with enforcing U.S. immigration policy. The CMPD says it does no such thing. You can hear Charlotte Talks Host Mike Collins talk with CMPD Chief Kerr Putney about this here.
There was more than one “CMPD is ICE” sign in the crowd – it is clearly an issue Charlotte’s immigrant community takes seriously. And they feel the CMPD needs to do more to make them feel safe.
But it wasn’t just the CMPD called out in protest signs. The bulk of the signs on display at Marshall Park focused on what immigrants bring to the country economically, socially and culturally. More than one sign pointed to history; America is a nation of immigrants.
This man decided to make that argument local and personal.
There was a third category of sings on display, a powerful one held by the smallest protesters. There were children and families throughout this crowd holding signs. The wording was varied but the message was clear. Please don’t deport their parents.