New Hampshire faith leaders announced today that they plan to trek from Manchester to Dover in a four day “Solidarity Walk for Immigrant Justice” beginning on August 22nd. Father Samuel Fuller, OFM, Cap, a Franciscan Friar serving at St. Anne-St. Augustin, Manchester’s most diverse parish, said “Our walk will mirror the trip an immigrant who is detained by I.C.E. takes from the Federal Building to the Dover Jail and possible deportation. Sadly, this is a journey several of our parishioners have already made in shackles and in fear.”
The Solidarity Walk is being planned by the many faith groups that have held prayer vigils outside the Norris Cotton Federal Building, 275 Chestnut Street in Manchester, over the past year. Walkers will gather at 9 am at St. Anne-St Augustin for a prayer service, walk to the I.C.E. building and from there will begin their 4-day trek. The Solidarity Walk will pass through the towns of Auburn, Candia, Raymond, Epping, Lee, Madbury and Dover. Rev. Jason Wells, Executive Director of NH Council of Churches, stated that walkers expect to walk about 11 miles each day. Each evening the Solidarity Network will host informational meetings and presentations in towns along the route. The walk will with conclude with a prayer service and vigil outside the Stafford County Jail in Dover, NH.
Eva Castillo, Vice President of the Granite State Organizing Project said, “Many do not understand the forces that drive people to flee their homelands, the complexities of the immigration system or the hardships faced by migrants; we hope to have positive and productive conversations with Granite Stators of all political persuasions along our journey.”
Clergy and lay leaders from multiple faith traditions as well as immigration activists from across New Hampshire are expected to participate. Walkers are welcome to join the Solidarity Walk for an hour, a day, or all four days. More information is available online HERE.
The Solidarity Walk for Immigrant Justice is sponsored by the NH Immigrant Solidarity Network, including the American Friends Service Committee-NH Program, Immigrant and Refugee Support Group of the NH Conference of the United Church of Christ, the Granite State Organizing Project, the NH Alliance of Immigrants and Refugees, the NH Council of Churches, Unitarian Universalist Action New Hampshire and the United Valley Interfaith Project.