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Immigration policy protests are being held at more than a dozen farms and gardens

New York City farmers and gardeners at locations

New York City farmers and gardeners at locations such as 462 Halsey Community Farm in Bedford-Stuyvesant are reaching out to help immigrant children being held in detention centers.  Photo Credit: Maya Rajamani

NYC green spaces are opening their gates this weekend to sow support for immigrant communities.

Bed-Stuy resident Alice Forbes Spear, 35, a volunteer at 462 Halsey Community Farm, came up with the idea to reach out to elected officials and engage in other immigrant-related actions, and roughly 30 other farms and gardens are planning to participate.

Her farm has chosen to focus on immigrant children held in detention centers. On Saturday, participants will write letters and color pictures for detained migrant children and send them to the nonprofit Sanctuary Homes for delivery to centers. They, along with the other participating green spaces, will also write postcards to elected officials about immigration policy.  

“So many of us feel so bad about what’s happening and it feels so big. … This is not OK. This is not who we should be as a country,” said Forbes Spear.

In addition to sending out postcards, events over the weekend will include a range of activities, from group meditation to fundraising celebrations and more. The main goal is to raise awareness, Forbes Spear said.

The weekend of activism is also intended to provide stress relief to the community, she said.

“The ICE raids last weekend, how much stress, anxiety and terror can that fill people's bodies with? We have to find ways to respond to that and counter that stress and fear with love and kindness,” she said. “Our space has become a place where community members know they can come and gather and respond to things in the world that’s hurting their hearts.”

Despite the coming heat wave, Forbes Spear said she hopes that the events will result in 5,000 postcards being sent out to elected officials. If the heat drives people away from participating this weekend, she said the efforts will continue after that.  

“We’re organizing to amplify each other’s voices,” she said. “We may not have a large platform or a lot of money, but we do have our voices and we’re on the same page. If we can put forward this little bit of extra effort, it can make a big difference.”

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