Woman Makes Her Voice Heard On Family Separation By Persistence At SLC Street Corner
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – It might be easy to feel like someone’s voice isn’t heard when it comes to politics, but a woman has figured out that consistency and duration are effective ways to amplify the volume.
For the past 28 days, Ashley Weitz has rolled a wagon filled with signs out to the corner of South Temple and 1300 East, and has demonstrated against the separation of families at the U.S. – Mexico border.
“You’re not talking about party politics — you’re talking about what’s right and what’s wrong,” Weitz said. “I have a 4-year-old, and I was explaining to him what was happening, and he said, ‘But momma, we have to go find their mommas and daddies.’ I don’t think we can do that, but we can tell our friends that we know that it shouldn’t be happening.”
Joined by a small group, Weitz waves at cars and holds signs while asking pedestrians if they are registered to vote.
“We are creating relationships, however short they may be, with the cars that pass by, with people who know that they’re not alone in witnessing this,” Weitz said. “There can be a lot of trauma in witnessing trauma, and I couldn’t sit at home anymore not doing something.”
Weitz said she got the idea to demonstrate for an hour daily from a man in Minnesota who was doing something similar.
She believed her ongoing demonstration was the second of its kind, but she said she understood there were nearly 40 now across the country.
“I’m hoping that as we make these connections, people remember it,” Weitz said. “I’m hoping as we talk to people passing that they are thinking about checking their registration, they’re thinking about who they know who isn’t registered to vote, they’re thinking about, ‘Wow, maybe I will make that call to my representatives.”
While Weitz and the others with her haven’t been able to sway every driver, they said they have found the feedback over their attempt to make their voices heard to be “overwhelmingly positive.”
“This is a Utah tradition — standing up for what’s right,” said Jo Yaffe.
Weitz was uncertain how long she would continue to demonstrate, other than she would “until further notice.”
“That is the payoff — is that people care, and seeing that and bringing it out in people — it’s energizing,” Weitz said.