SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - As the country braces for a new round of immigration raids this weekend, many in Springfield gathered to protest the condition of the detention centers on the border.

An event in Springfield, called 'Lights For Liberty', was just one of thirty in the state, but it's all part of a larger movement.

Thousands of miles away from the detention centers on the U.S. Border, dozens gather at the Foster Memorial Church on Wilbraham Road in Springfield to speak out about the conditions inside of them.

Pastor Barbara Scheank says she felt the need to take action after hearing of reports about what's happening inside of them.

"I just cry myself to sleep every night, so I find it very hard. The sign that I'm holding is artwork done by a child in one of the camps and I think that's pretty powerful." Pastor Scheank tells us.

She tells Western Mass News that, locally, it was organized by the Interfaith Council of Greater Springfield and Greater Springfield Campaign Non-Violence.

Nationally, the call to action was by Lights For Liberty, a coalition of people dedicated to human rights and the belief that all humans have a right to life, liberty, and dignity.

"The whole idea of children without their mothers or fathers, sleeping on the cement in very hot conditions, very little food, not enough to drink, no facilities often for toilets. The whole statement about not even providing toothbrushes and soap for people. The conditions are terrible," stated Pastor Bob Loesch.

Pastor Loesch says that what's happening in the detention centers are opposite of U.S. Values.

"The fact that people are leaving central American countries, they're fleeing for their life, and they're leaving all sorts of terrible experiences and seeking to come to the United States where, genuinely, we are open to people of different backgrounds," said Pastor Loesch.

While they can't be heard by those in the detention centers, they're hoping they're heard by those making decisions affecting those inside.

"Things like this are a start, and we need to make our voices heard for people that cannot speak, and then pray that those that we've elected will take action." added Pastor Scheank.

When we asked many of those protestors how they feel about the pending immigration raids this weekend, they tell us simply it's disheartening.

Copyright 2019 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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