#ClosetheCamps movement draws 100-plus people in Bothell

Hallie Condit organized the local event as part of the nation-wide movement.

Hallie Condit said the conditions of the migrant camps along the southern border is intolerable.

“I don’t have kids but what these people — what these children — are going through…it hits me in the gut,” Condit said.

A nationwide movement, #ClosetheCamps, spread across the country on July 2 to call for an end to the migrant camps.

The movement gained momentum through MoveOn. MoveOn is a progressive public policy advocacy group with millions of members.

Condit, a Mountlake Terrace resident, said she heard about the #ClosetheCamps movement late night on June 30 — less than 48 hours before the July 2 day of action.

Despite short notice, Condit wanted to participate in the event. However, there weren’t many day-of-action events being held close to her. There were several groups around the area hosting events, including in Seattle, Redmond and Edmonds. Condit said she wanted to have one a bit closer to help include more people on the Eastside.

“I thought Bothell would be a good spot,” she said.

Through MoveOn, anyone can register an event. Condit set to work to launch the Bothell event and spread the word through various Facebook groups including Indivisible Eastside.

“I sent it to as many groups as I could,” she said. “I wanted people to share it.”

Condit said she feared no one would show up to the Bothell event.

“I thought I would be the only one out there,” she said. “I hoped there would be at least 25 people.”

Condit showed up at the intersection of Bothell Way and Woodinville Drive at around noon on July 2. Within 30 minutes, more than 60 people were standing alongside her.

“I was just amazed — so thrilled that so many people came,” she said.

Claire Robson was one of the people who attended the event.

“About 100 of us gathered holding signs at the Bothell Way and Woodinville Drive intersection,” she said. “We were hoping to draw attention to the heinous immigration policies implemented by the president’s administration, but also to stand as a reminder to our neighbors that we stand in solidarity with immigrants, refugees and families.”

The event’s attendees wanted local leaders to visit detention centers, stop the funding for detention centers and the family-separation policies, and pressure President Donald Trump’s administration to close down the camps.

“I think we made a good statement,” Condit said. “This is so intolerable…this is not my America anymore.”

Condit said the event received mostly positive responses.

“We had a lot of positive honks,” she said. “I think we only had one person who drove by playing, ‘I like Trump.’”

While the #ClosetheCamps campaign has passed, MoveOn listed further actions people can take about this issue that can be found on their website.

Photo courtesy of Claire Robson                                 Members of the Bothell protest opposed the conditions of the migrant camps along the southern border.

Photo courtesy of Claire Robson Members of the Bothell protest opposed the conditions of the migrant camps along the southern border.