PENN YAN — On Friday, “Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Detention Camps,” will bring thousands of Americans to detention camps, into the streets and into their own front yards, to protest the inhumane conditions faced by refugees.

Local organizers, led by the Penn Yan Action Coalition (PYAC) and joined by a growing roster of supporting groups, invite concerned citizens to begin gathering at 7:30 p.m. at Red Jacket Park.

Advocates and impacted persons will be invited to speak on the issue of human detention camps in the United States. As night falls — around the country and around the world — participants will light candles in a silent vigil for all those held in U.S. detention camps to bring light to the darkness of what organizers say are the horrific policies of the current administration.

PYAC also will be “passing the hat” for donations to the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), one of the leading non-profit organizations addressing the detention issue. According to its website,, RAICES “promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to under-served immigrant children, families, and refugees.”

“We shine a light on the inhumane treatment of migrants and refugees by the current administration. To be silent is to be complicit. To sit this out is to be complacent. Now is a time to stand for what is best in all of us, to stop the worst of us. We must stand for one another,” said Ravi Ragbir, executive director of New Sanctuary Coalition, one of the groups spearheading the national initiative.

Lights for Liberty is a loose coalition of grassroots activists, with support from longstanding immigrants’ rights organizations and other organizers. More information can be found at

The Penn Yan Action Coalition was formed during the summer of 2017 to address immigration and other issues of concern to residents of Yates County following the detaining, and subsequent deportation, of a Yates County resident.

For more information, see the Facebook event page at

Recommended for you


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.