Immigration Protests Shut Down the Highway in Troy, Missouri, on Saturday

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Across the nation, Americans protested Saturday under the banner #FamiliesBelongTogether, expressing their outrage over President Donald Trump's policy of separating immigrant children from their families at the U.S. border. And those protests weren't limited to major cities, but also spread to smaller, Republican-leaning towns. These photos show the unexpected turnout in conservative Troy, Missouri, which is about an hour's drive northwest of St. Louis.

The county jail there has a federal contract to hold immigration detainees. Yet when protesters announced they'd be visiting, the elected sheriff pushed back with a tone-deaf Facebook post urging the citizens of Lincoln County not to counter-protest --"the Sheriff’s Office does not want to see a clash between our good citizens and this group," he wrote -- and suggesting anyone upset about immigration policy should buy a sno cone. (Say what?)

The glib reply may have only increased turnout. On a day when the temperature reached a scorching 93 degrees, hundreds of citizens-turned-activists still showed up with signs to raise their voices and be heard. After their rally (including several impassioned speeches), the crowd moved to the highway and shut it down for about 20 minutes before police arrived. There were no arrests.

July 30, 2018

Photos by Niles Zee Photography