Migrants run from tear gas launched by U.S. agents, amid photojournalists covering the Mexico-U.S. border, after a group of migrants got past Mexican police at the Chaparral crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018. The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and says that he has asked the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants who have arrived in the city. (AP Photo | Rodrigo Abd)

Migrants run from tear gas launched by U.S. agents, amid photojournalists covering the Mexico-U.S. border, after a group of migrants got past Mexican police at the Chaparral crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018. The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and says that he has asked the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants who have arrived in the city. (AP Photo | Rodrigo Abd)

Activists will be out in force Saturday protesting border issue

Protest focuses on US-Mexico border

Sometimes it’s easy to feel disconnected from national issues while living in Juneau.

As some concerned Juneauites watch national news stories about a military presence on the U.S.-Mexico border, families being separated and people being deported, they still feel they can make a difference.

Catherine Hatch, who describes herself as a “longtime worrier and first-time activist,” is one of them.

“We’re far away from the border, but we do have federal representation,” Hatch said. “That’s why we have elected officials and would love for them to take a stand against what’s going on.”

Hatch is part of a group planning on rallying Saturday morning outside the Andrew P. Kashevaroff building that houses the Alaska State Library, Archives and Museum (the state museum is not involved in the event). The protest, organized by Juneau People for Peace and Justice (JPPJ), is scheduled to run from 11 a.m. to noon.

The rally will feature speakers including Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (CCTHITA) President Chalyee Éesh Richard Peterson; Deacon Charles Rohrbacher; Libby Bakalar, a lawyer and concerned citizen; Gloria Orozco, owner of El Zarape; Manni Guillen, Gloria’s son; and Christianne Carrillo, an artist. There will also be music from Tony Tengs. Speakers have been advised to speak for five minutes or less to keep the event moving quickly.

[VIDEO: Tony Tengs, House Family Band at Folk Fest performing a song about gun control]

Attendees are invited to make signs, and to sign a petition being sent to Alaska’s Congressional Delegation — Rep. Don Young and Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan. People are also invited to make donations to Border Angels, a nonprofit that focuses on immigration reform and social justice particularly on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Afterward, people are welcome at Sacred Grounds Cafe (located in the nearby Andrew Hope Building) to write letters to their representatives in Congress. That’s the first of two letter-writing events associated with the rally, and is scheduled to go from noon to 2 p.m. Starting at 2 p.m., organizers of the rally are heading downtown and gathering at Devil’s Club Brewing Company for more letter writing.

The rally is part of a nationwide movement called Love Knows No Borders, which invites people to make their voices heard between Dec. 10 (International Human Rights Day) and Dec. 18 (International Migrant Day). There are three main demands that protesters in Juneau and around the country have. They ask that the U.S. government respect the human right to migrate and seek asylum; that the government end border militarization; and that the government ends immigrant detention and deportation and reduces funding for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Amy Paige from JPPJ and Hatch said they believe that the rhetoric from the Trump Administration has sparked a wave of anti-immigration attitudes in the country. Paige said organizations such as Border Angels are working with people trying to get into the country, and the work that they’re doing paints a different picture than what is really happening at the border.

“It just seems that so much of what we hear from the administration in Washington about demonizing people who are coming is not borne out by the people in these groups who have been on the ground with people who are desperately fleeing violent situations and need to seek asylum,” Paige said.

Juneau residents haven’t been shy about voicing their concerns on national topics. Throughout this year, multiple protests sprung up urging Murkowski and Sullivan to vote against the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee (and now Justice) Brett Kavanaugh. Hatch was adamant that even though Juneau is far away from the epicenter of these issues, the community is still a microcosm of the world as a whole.

“We don’t have a wall in Juneau or any kind of ICE necessarily,” Hatch said. “That doesn’t mean deportation doesn’t happen here, that doesn’t mean we don’t have a history of not always being so great to our immigrants. Especially in this season, it’s all about inviting people to be welcoming and kind.”


• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or amccarthy@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.


Catherine Hatch, left, and Amy Paige talk on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, about this weekend’s rally for migrant justice to be held in front of the Alaska State Museum. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Catherine Hatch, left, and Amy Paige talk on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, about this weekend’s rally for migrant justice to be held in front of the Alaska State Museum. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

More in Home

Disney Williams (right) orders coffee from Lorelai Bingham from the Flying Squirrel coffee stand at Juneau International Airport on Thursday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
New coffee stand at airport stirs up heated dispute about having proper authorization to operate

Fans of Flying Squirrel Espresso praise location, hours; officials say FAA violations could be costly.

Nano Brooks and Emily Mesch file for candidacy on Friday at the City and Borough of Juneau Municipal Clerk’s office in City Hall. (Jasz Garrett / Juneau Empire)
City and Borough of Juneau regular municipal election candidate filing period opens

So far, most vie for Assembly District 2 seat — mayor, Board of Education, and District 1 also open.

Killah Priest performs at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center in December 2019. (Photo courtesy of Lance Mitchell)
Killah Priest sets new record with Alaskan artists on ‘Killah Borealis’

Wu-Tang Clan rapper seeks to lift Alaskan voices and culture in his return performance to Juneau

Juneau Board of Education President Deedie Sorensen (left) and Vice President Emil Mackey, holding his son Emil Mackey IV, listen to discussion about next year’s budget for the school district during a meeting March 14 at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. Recall votes for both board members were certified this week for the Oct. 1 municipal election ballot. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Petitions to recall two Juneau school board leaders get enough signatures for Oct. 1 election ballot

President Deedie Sorensen, Vice President Emil Mackey targeted due to school district’s budget crisis.

Commercial fishing boats are lined up at the dock at Seward’s harbor on June 22. Federal grants totaling a bit over $5 million have been awarded to the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute to help Alaskans sell more fish to more diverse groups of consumers. (Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
Federal grants to state agency aim to expand markets for Alaska seafood

More than $5M to help ASMI comes after Gov. Dunleavy vetoed $10M for agency.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy holds up the omnibus crime bill, House Bill 66, after signing it at a ceremony Thursday at the Department of Public Safety’s aircraft hangar at Lake Hood in Anchorage. At his side are Sandy Snodgrass, whose 22-year-old son died in 2021 from a fentanyl overdose, and Angela Harris, who was stabbed in 2022 by a mentally disturbed man at the public library in Anchorage and injured so badly that she now uses a wheelchair. Snodgrass and Harris advocated for provisions in the bill.Behind them are legislators, law enforcement officers and others. (Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
Goals for new Alaska crime law range from harsher penalties for drug dealers to reducing recidivism

Some celebrate major progress on state’s thorniest crime issues while others criticize the methods.

A near-capacity crowd fills the main ballroom at Centennial Hall during the final night of the Alaska Folk Festival on April 14. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Michael Franti concert nixed at Centennial Hall, moved to JDHS due to staging issues

Technical and staffing plans of concert producers not feasible, JAHC executive director says.

A hiker explores the Tongass National Forest. (U.S. Forest Service photo)
The Forest Service just took an inventory of the Tongass, wants suggestions about what to protect

Two-month comment period on draft map part of major revision of forest’s land management plan.

Most Read