Thursday, July 25, 2019

Lights for Liberty

At hundreds of locations around the country there will be vigils to protest the inhumane incarceration of immigrants at the border. The event is being called Lights for Liberty. The aim was to bring people together in peaceful protest of the inhumane conditions of the camps holding incarcerated immigrants and in remembrance of those whom have suffered and even died in those very places. These vigils occurred across the nation, with candles lit and a moment of silence at 9pm. Organizers and protesters want the world to know that this is not the America they believe in and that there are still citizens who care about the rest of the world and the rights of refugees seeking asylum in our country.

It was raining lightly when I arrived at the grassy peninsula to the right of the red gondola in Lake Eola ParkSheri Smyth, an event organizer with bright green hair gave a brief interview to a TV news crew. I asked where speakers might set up to talk to the protesters and was told a podium would be set up on the grass. I paused waiting to see where the podium might go. Someone walked out with a podium and walked half way out towards the lake and stopped dead in his tracks. I stopped as well as I followed him. His face looked ashen and he turned on his heals taking the podium back under a tent. I glanced out across the lake and the far shore disappeared under the silver sheen of a wall of rain that made its way across the lake towards us.

It started to pour. People crowded under the blue tent for cover and the rest opened their umbrellas. I sat on my artist stool which unfortunately ripped. I decided to start sketching the gondola and tent since the rain showed no signs of letting up. Two young women danced in the rain embracing the moment instead of running for cover. As it grew darker the park lights flicked on. The event organizer made an executive decision and decided to set up the podium inside the red gazebo. I decided to stay where I was since the sketch was started. I noticed several rainbow colored umbrellas and decided that the protesters bright umbrellas would be my center of interest. Gale force winds kicked up and I leaned back with my umbrella into the wind while keeping my tables as safe from the water as I could. On this gray rainy day, the bright colors of the protestors and their bright umbrellas were a vibrant contrast. Occasionally I wiped the water off on my shirt. Once this sketch was done I moved in closer to sketch the candles being lit.

It has become amazingly clear that Trump is a raging racist and a liar. With images coming out of the detention center on our southern border every American can see the inhuman conditions inflicted on asylum seekers first hand. This week The government is conduction raids in cities across the country to detain and relocate people.

There are 10 stages of Genocide. We are at stage 7.
1. Classification: People are divided into "us and them."
2. Symbolization: People are forced to identify themselves.
3. Discrimination: People begin to face systematic discrimination.
4. Dehumanization: People are equated with animals, vermin or diseases.
5. Organization: The government creates specific groups (Police, Military, ICE) to enforce policies.
6. Polarization: The government broadcasts propaganda to turn the populace against the group.
7. Preparation: Official action to remove/relocate people.
8. Persecution: Beginning of murders, theft of property, trial massacres.
9. Extermination: Wholesale elimination of the group. It is "extermination" and not murder because the people aren't considered human.
10. Denial: The government denies that it had committed any crime.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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