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South Orange's Allyson Murphy Mobilizes Mothers in Newark to Protest Trump Family Separation Policy

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The fate of the approximately 2,400 children separated at the southern U.S. border from their families remains unclear. Credits: Mark J. Bonamo
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A group of New Jersey mothers and their children protest the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" immigration policy. Credits: Mark J. Bonamo
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More than 25 families march in Newark to protest the Trump administration's forced family separation policy. Credits: Mark J. Bonamo
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Children at an immigration policy protest at the federal building in Newark make their opinions known through drawings Credits: Mark J. Bonamo
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NEWARK, NJ - A group of New Jersey mothers took time to come to Newark with the kind of loved ones recently taken from other mothers: their children.

"It's unconscionable that our government is stealing children from their parents and locking them up in cages," said Christina Liu, a Montclair mom holding her baby daughter, commenting on President Donald Trump's recent aggressive family separation policy regarding migrants attempting to cross into the United States. "My tax dollars are paying for this to happen. We need to let people know that this should not be normalized.We cannot allow this."

Liu was among a group of more than 25 mothers and their babies who marched up Broad Street from Lincoln Park to the Peter W. Rodino Federal Building to protest the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" immigration policy. One consequence of this initiative is forced family separation, which was abruptly halted on Wednesday in the wake of international and bipartisan domestic outrage. 

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After a parade of strollers came to a rest at the federal building, a row of mothers sat down and did what comes naturally.

"Nothing gets people more riled up than when you use your breasts for their intended biological purpose of feeding babies," said Allyson Murphy, a lactation consultant from South Orange, who organized what she called 'a different type' of protest. "The emotional ache of having a baby taken, on top of the physical ache when your body is telling you that you need to nurse, and you can't, is utterly heartbreaking."

The fate of the approximately 2,400 children separated at the southern U.S. border from their families, many fleeing some of the world's most violent communities in Mexico and Central America, remains unclear. Many children have already been dispersed to locations across the country, and there appears to be no coordinated plan to bring families back together. 

The optics of children being held in chain-link holding pens is something many mothers at the protest could not unsee.

"They're couching this like they're doing something, but they're not," said Kelly Piccola, of South Orange. "Call it what it is. These are concentration camps."

Fathers were also present at the protest. 

"Part of my job as a faith leader is to fight injustice all the time. But I'm here today specifically not just as clergy, but with my family," said Michael Howard, a pastor in Morristown. "This is injustice against families and children. Violence against children may be the worst kind of violence."

Before the protesters cleared out, one child spoke out about what it's like to watch what's happening at the border.

"I don't think it's good what Trump is doing to the families who are getting parted from their kids," said Ramona, 8, from Maplewood, who drew pictures portraying the plight of children far less fortunate. "I imagine what it would be like to be parted from my family. I'd be very scared and I'd miss them a lot. I don't want that to happen to other people." 

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SOMA

Columbia High School Principal's Removal Raises More Questions Than It Answers

The last Twitter post from Columbia High School principal Elizabeth Aaron is very telling. 

The four-year CHS schools chief, who was recently, surprisingly, reassigned to a vague “Principal on Special Assignment” post by the school district, was a Twitter regular on her @CougarPrincipal account. There she would often promote the school’s successes and notable staff and ...

Maplewood Police Blotter - Two Robberies Reported on July 5

July 15, 2018

July 2 - Motor Vehicle Theft; Sometime over the previous two days, a U-Haul truck was stolen from a business on Newark Way.

July 4 - Theft from Auto; During the overnight hours an unsecured vehicle parked on Elberta Rd was entered and keys were stolen from it.

July 5 - Robberies; At approximately 1:30 a.m., a male was assaulted by two males ridding bicycles while he was walking on ...

Free 'Movies in the Park' on July 18 and August 23 in Maplewood

July 16, 2018

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Free "Movies in the Park" are planned for Wednesday, July 18, and Thursday, August 23, a program hosted by the Maplewood Police Department in conjunction with the Maplewood Recreation Department, the Maplewood Office of Cultural Affairs, SOMA Film Festival and SOMA Municipal Alliance.

The movie on July 18 will be The Incredibles, shown in Dehart Park, ...

National Weather Service Issues Heat Advisory Through 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 17

NEW YORK, NY, - The National Weather Service issued a 'Heat Advisory' this morning for Bergen, Passaic, Essex, Union and Hudson Counties in New Jersey. The heat advisory will remain in effect from noon Monday July 16, until 6 p.m. Tuesday July 17.

Extreme heat can cause illness and death among at- risk population who cannot stay cool. The heat and humidity may cause heat stress during ...

Upcoming Events

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Wed, July 18, 10:00 AM

Paterson Board of Education , Paterson

Teacher Job Fair in Paterson

Education

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Fri, July 20, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

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Fri, July 20, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

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Sat, July 21, 7:30 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, SHORT HILLS

Solid Gold with Bobby Valli at Par 440

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Statement From Emergency Committee to Reinstate Principal Aaron

July 10, 2018

** TUESDAY RALLY IS CANCELLED **

We created a movement. We leveraged our collective 1,600 voices and forced the District leadership to sit with us today [Monday] and discuss the poorly communicated, weekend announcement that CHS Principal Elizabeth Aaron was being reassigned.

Our meeting was a first step in both accountability and transparency as Dr. Ficarra revealed Principal ...

Coalition on Race Responds to Changes in School District Administrators

The Board of Trustees of the Community Coalition on Race seeks racial equity, integration, and excellence in education for all students in our schools. While the pace of change has been frustratingly slow, we have seen some progress. Yet, candidly, there are too many students of color who are not well served in SOMA, who still experience segregated classrooms and who still suffer from racial ...

Lawmakers Denounce SCOTUS Nomination at Essex County Courthouse

July 17, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - State Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin said it was important to support local women’s health organizations at a state level should President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court justice nominee be approved.

The assemblywoman joined state Sen. Teresa Ruiz, congressional leaders and women's rights groups yesterday at the steps of the Essex County Courthouse ...

3rd Annual Newark International Film Festival Accepting Submissions

NEWARK, NJ - Three days filled with celebrity guests and showcases from both local and international filmmakers are coming to the city in September.

The third annual Newark International Film Festival will return Sept. 6 and run through Sept. 9, 2018. The festival has grown each year since it was first created, with the city last year hosting 10,000 attendees seeing films across ...

NJ Residents Take Action Against White Supremacist Fliers Found Around Bridgewater, Bedminster, Other Local Areas

July 17, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Residents of Bridgewater, Somerville, Morristown and surrounding communities are mobilizing for action after they found posters around town promoting Identity Evropa, which the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has labeled a white supremacist group.

According to Bridgewater resident Stacey Friedlander, a member of the “Not In Our Town – Bridgewater/Raritan” ...

Union Police Pursuit Ends in Crash in Irvington

NEWARK, NJ – Union police were involved in an early morning vehicle pursuit that ended in a crash and serious injuries to two juveniles in Irvington on Monday.

According to Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office is in the early stages of investigating the police pursuit that has resulted in two juveniles sustaining serious ...

New Plumber Joins the Woolley Home Solutions Team

July 16, 2018

We are excited to announce a new addition to the Woolley team! Our new plumber, Oscar Buonafina, is an expert plumber with nearly a decade of industry experience serving New Jersey homeowners. He is also a NJ Master Plumber Since 2007. As a military veteran, Oscar truly understands hard work and commitment, and we’re so happy to bring him on board!

"I believe in service to people ...

Maplewood Brings Local Youth to the Governing Table With the Youth Advisory Committee

The Maplewood Township Committee cordially invites diverse student residents of Maplewood who are enrolled in private or public school in grades 8 through 12 to apply to serve on its new Youth Advisory Committee.  In order to continue empowering local youth whose recent advocacy on - gun safety, safe schools, voting rights, immigration, greater institutional equity and inclusion, to name a ...

Repairs to Boyden Avenue Between Elmwood Avenue and Springfield Avenue

On Monday, July 16, road repairs to the south side of Boyden Avenue between Elmwood Avenue and Springfield Avenue will take place for approximately one week pending weather conditions. There will be access to the pool parking lot for pool members and NJ Transit employees. Signage and police officers will be present to direct traffic.