Lexington businesses plan to take part in peaceful protest Thursday

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Organizers in cities across the United States are asking immigrants to skip school, work and not to shop on Thursday as a way to show the country how important they are to America’s economy.

“Our goal is to show our impact on the economy,” Dunbar High School Senior Lori Martinez said.

Dunbar High School Seniors Cristal Piedra and Lori Martinez spent Wednesday afternoon trying to spread the message that immigrants in the United States matter.

The two girls aren’t going to school Thursday. They’re taking part in what has become a nationwide protest where the nation’s immigrants and children of immigrants plan to show that their daily participation is essential to us economy. They plan to demonstrate by not buying gas, not going to work, and not making any purchases online or at any stores. The protest is called “A Day Without Immigrants.”

“There’s this saying that we say in Spanish “Su lucha es mi lucha” which means “my fight is your fight” and the fight of our Hispanic community is also our fight see if we can make a difference. That’s what we want to do,” Piedras said.

Sylvia Torres co-owns the Moda Y Deporte clothing store on Alexandria Drive in Lexington. Torres will close down her shop Thursday. And although she says doing so will hurt her business, she believes the cause is worth the sacrifice.
“I think every minute that we’ll be closed tomorrow we’ll contribute to the things that come in the future,” Torres said.

“We do everything right. We pay our taxes. We are contributing to the economy I guess people don’t realize that we’re paying taxes for everything that is built around here.”

Torres says she hopes this protest will eventually put an end to criminalizing undocumented immigrants.

“I have a lot of friends and family members that are undocumented. I know that a lot of people that have been separated by the laws and I just think it’s very unfair what is going on,” Torres said.