PETERBOROUGH — Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke of Texas plans to attend a rally in town Friday protesting the treatment of detained migrant children and their families.
Scheduled for 5:30 to 7 p.m. on the steps of the Peterborough Town House on Grove Street, the local rally coincides and is in coordination with Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Concentration Camps. This wider initiative includes hundreds of protest events across the U.S. and abroad.
Peterborough’s rally was planned, in advance of O’Rourke’s participation, by eight local women after news reports of a legal team’s interviews with children detained near the southern border, according to organizers.
“Lawyers warn that kids are taking care of kids, and there’s inadequate food, water and sanitation for the 250 infants, children and teens at the Border Patrol station” near El Paso, Texas, the Associated Press reported.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan has called allegations of these conditions ”unsubstantiated.”
O’Rourke, an El Paso native who served on the city council there before representing Texas for three terms in Congress, is scheduled to arrive at Peterborough’s event at 6:30 p.m.
All are welcome at the rally, according to a news release from the organizing committee.
“We invite you to fill the townhouse steps, overflow down the sidewalks, and spread across the streets of Peterborough,” said Christine Sheldon, a town resident and one of the committee members, in the release. “We know interest in this is high. ... Peterborough needs to be represented as advocates for these children.”
Organizers also urge people after the rally, in their own homes, to participate in a vigil and moment of silence at 9 p.m.
Separately, a Lights for Liberty vigil has been planned in Brattleboro’s Pliny Park Friday from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., according to a Facebook event page. In New Hampshire, the Lights for Liberty page also lists events in Dover, Hanover, North Conway, Portsmouth and Wilton.