Solidarity Protest At Albany Airport
Following President Donald Trump’s executive order to ban immigration from seven primarily Muslims nations, hundreds of citizens of Albany, and the surrounding area, flooded the Albany International Airport this Sunday in protest.
The protesters held signs saying things like, “All Refugees Welcome,”“Fear does not make us great,”and, “First they came for the Muslims, and we said not this time.”
They all took turns leading chants and singing songs, such as America the Beautiful and This Land is Your Land. Many protesters hugged one another and a few cried when they heard the perspectives of Muslim Americans.
Strangers became friends as they conversed over the current situation and what they would do to try to stop it. People of all ages, races, and religions rallied in solidarity in the hopes of overturning what has recently been called the “Muslim Ban.”
The purpose of the ban, according to The Atlantic and the Trump Administration, is, “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”
In essence, the idea of the ban is to help reduce the risk of terrorist attacks. As of now, immigration has been banned from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.
According to the Huffington Post, there have been no fatal terrorist attacks by immigrants from the banned countries in the United States. Many of the protesters were outraged with this decision and called the president’s decision both, “unconstitutional,” and, “un-American.”
One protester yelled, “We are all immigrants. This country was built on immigrants. End the ban on Muslims.”
He was met by cheers and applause from his fellow protesters.
There were many Muslim Americans in the crowd as well saying that they are lucky to already be in the United States, as many were from the banned nations. One Iranian man said that he is very lucky that he was not out of the country when the ban was issued or he might not have been allowed re-entry.
The protest is only one of many across the United States. The night before the Albany protest, thousands of people flooded JFK International Airport in New York City to protest and demand the release of two refugees who were detained upon arrival. Following the JFK protest, people have taken to the streets in New York City, Los Angeles, Washington D.C, and countless other cities.
Due to the overwhelming number of protesters and pressure from a large number of activist groups, the Trump administration has rolled back the ban to no longer affect Green Card holders.
As of now, there have been no reported detainees at the Albany International Airport itself, but protesters used the airport as a statement of solidarity with the JFK protest the previous night.
Chants included, “we will not go away; welcome to your third day,” and, “Say it loud, say it clear: Everyone is welcome here.”
Various civil rights advocacy groups have spoken about possible legal action on the issue and we can expect a long battle over the ban in the upcoming weeks.
The protesters plan to continue protesting against Trump’s actions in the upcoming weeks. This appears to only be the beginning.