HOT SPRINGS, Ark.– More than 30,000 people gathered outside the White House Saturday morning.
The rally numbers here in central Arkansas are more modest but many people are just as passionate.
Demonstrators showed up outside the Capitol Saturday evening. Before that, protestors showed up in Hot Springs. But another rally also took place at the same time in downtown Hot Springs Saturday. We learned that group who express opposing views applied for a permit prior to the protestors joining the nationwide movement.
Both sides had the opportunity to rally.
Protestors shouted, “Love not hate. Make America great.”
More than a 150 protesters walked up and down Hot Spring’s famous tourist spot known as Bath Row.
We met Kayla Bradbury who held the permit for the group protesting the current administration’s immigration policy.
“We are protesting this administration’s very cruel and inhumane immigration policies,” Bradbury told us.
We then met Kai Coggin who led many of the chants as she walked with a sign on Central.
Coggin said, “And this a line we are drawing in the sand. That we aren’t going to take this anymore.”
She told us she legally immigrated to America.
Coggin said, “This is inhumane. This is immoral and this is not what our country stands for. This is not what we stand for.”
The afternoon heat didn’t stop or silence Arkansans from joining a nationwide movement Saturday.
Bradbury said, “Children do not belong behind bars.”
We then met James Del Brock as he was standing behind a barrier on the lawn where protesters walked past him and his group. He told us he held the permit for the rally with this group.
Del Brock said, “Confederate Square which this is our 31st rally in Hot Springs, Arkansas.”
At the same time and same place a different rally, with a group voicing a different belief, took place.
Del Brock said, “Well actually, I’m not here to counter-protest them.”
Kevin Holland attended the same rally as Del Brock.
Holland said, “My goal here today is to raise awareness to the socialist, communist progression, liberalism spread in our state of Arkansas.”
About 20 people right now stand on the lawn. I counted +100 protestors walking. The two do not agree on immigration policies. Law enforcement is out in full force in Hot Springs, AR #arnews pic.twitter.com/EYKtfFg6Rr— Price McKeon (@PriceMcKeon) June 30, 2018
We watched as tensions and tempers flared at times.
Del Brock said, “The immigration issue, my biggest problem with it is children being taken away from their parents is not an issue. It happens here in America.”
Bradbury does not agree.
She said, “We are wanting these families to be reunited especially, number one, the children who have already been separated from their parents.”
But extra law enforcement enforced rules to keep the peace so both groups could fly the same American flag.
Meet 8yo Michell from Little Rock. She’s making her voice heard at the LR rally fighting for change in the administration’s current immigration policies. #ARNews pic.twitter.com/Oq6QMjAFAG— Price McKeon (@PriceMcKeon) June 30, 2018
The rally at the Capitol held a candlelight vigil after people shared their stories.
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