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Editorial: Silent no more

Children’s shoes are used in a protest by thousands as they crowd Rittenhouse Square near a hotel hosting a meeting with U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence Tuesday in Philadelphia. The children’s shoes reference the current practice of separating children from parents accused of crossing the border illegally. — Jacqueline Larma/The Associated Press
Children’s shoes are used in a protest by thousands as they crowd Rittenhouse Square near a hotel hosting a meeting with U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence Tuesday in Philadelphia. The children’s shoes reference the current practice of separating children from parents accused of crossing the border illegally. — Jacqueline Larma/The Associated Press

Startling pieces of video started making their way around the internet last night.

And no, not the ProPublica audiotape of children crying for their parents in American detention camps.

Not MSNBC news anchor Rachel Maddow breaking down on national television as she read about infants and small children being taken from their parents and housed in what are euphemistically called “tender age shelters.”

It wasn’t even Trump supporter Corey Lewandowski on Fox News making fun of a 10-year-old girl with Down syndrome being separated from her parents, calling out a derisive “whomp, whomp” sad-trombone sound when another guest raised the heartlessness of the separation.

No, the startling pieces of video are the small acts of resistance that appear to be growing in the United States as a result of the Trump administration’s cruel and inhumane warehousing of small children.

Like the woman who shouted “Mr. President, F--k you” as Trump walked to House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office.

Like the crowds of U.S. citizens who staged pop-up demonstrations at several U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) offices across the country. (Ironically, at one office, in Portland, ICE officers complained that a blockading protest was keeping them from going home to their families.)

No, the startling pieces of video are the small acts of resistance that appear to be growing in the United States as a result of the Trump administration’s cruel and inhumane warehousing of small children.

Like the nine governors of different U.S. states who have recalled their National Guard personnel and equipment from the US.-Mexican border to show their revulsion with the separation policy.

Like the crowd of people who found Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, the Trump official brought out to defend the force separation policy, in a Mexican restaurant and heckled her out of the place, with an activist making the point that, “While Secretary Nielsen’s dinner may have been ruined, it is nothing compared to the horrors she has inflicted on innocent families.” (Other diners apparently applauded the action.)

The tone for the current administration in the United States is set from the top: Donald Trump has made it abundantly clear, from his actions after the G7 Summit on down, that he reacts only to things he sees and hears within his own personal orbit. Republicans on the Hill are following that lead slavishly.

What those who are appalled by the separation of families — and the warehousing of children in detention camps — are realizing is that protests have to be upfront and personal to be heard.

Their new tactics? Make government officials uncomfortable. Make them embarrassed. Make their lives as difficult as possible.

Like the 600 Methodist clergy who have signed a letter asking his pastors to make U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions answer to his church for his actions in implementing the separation policy.

“We write to you, Mr. Sessions’ pastors, copying his District Superintendents and Bishops, in the hopes that you will, as members of our connectional system, dig deeply into Mr. Sessions’ advocacy and actions that have led to harm against thousands of vulnerable humans,” the letter reads.

Small actions. But actions that appear to be gathering steam.

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