Tullahoma was one of more than 700 cities nationwide to take part in a protest of the Trump administration’s family separation policy on Friday evening.

At a little after 7 p.m. on Friday, July 12, more than a dozen people gathered in downtown Tullahoma near the caboose in order to take part in the “Lights for Liberty” protest.

The nationwide movement was a mostly social media-driven protest designed to bring awareness for the treatment of immigrant children at the U.S./Mexico border, according to its website.

Around 740 “Lights for Liberty” gatherings took place across the country at the same hour, according to Tullahoma organizer Gwen Carr. Most of the protests took place in larger cities such as New York City, Houston or Los Angeles, but Carr said she wanted to prove that even a rural community like Tullahoma had people who stood in solidarity with immigrants.

Carr’s gathering was a regional one, as people from Shelbyville and Sewanee joined her on Friday evening, including members of the Cumberland Center for Justice and Peace. Lisa Rung, of CCJP, was one of the more vocal protestors on Friday night. She told The News she wanted to join the movement that day because immigrants are still human beings worthy of respect.

“Children don’t belong in jail,” she said, referencing the detention centers children have been forced into.

They all joined in a candlelight vigil before moving to the corner of Atlantic and Lincoln streets to better display their signs.

Though her gathering was small, Carr said she was encouraged by how many people come together to protest the family separation policy of the Trump administration.

She was only asked a week prior to the protest to set one up in Tullahoma, and she was glad that she had her small but dedicated group of concerned people.

“For a week in planning, this isn’t bad, especially for our neck of the woods,” she said. “It’s a beginning, and I think it does say something.”

For more information on Lights for Liberty, visit their website at www.lightsforliberty.org.

Erin McCullough may be reached at emccullough@tullahomanews.com.