“Dump Trump!”: Hundreds rally outside Trump Tower in NYC to slam his hate speech and welcome refugees
Hundreds of activists gathered outside of the Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City’s Columbus Circle on Thursday evening for a demonstration in solidarity with Syrian and Iraqi refugees.
The organizers of the rally said protesters were there “to say no to the harmful racism, Islamophobia, Arabphobia, and xenophobia towards the refugee community.” An enormous coalition of groups endorsed the demonstration, including civil rights, migrant rights, leftist, anti-war, LGBTQ, Latina/Latino, Black, Jewish, Palestinian, Iranian, Desi, Filipino, and Greek organizations.
“This is not the first time people have done this in this country, and this is what scares American Muslims,” Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, which co-sponsored the rally, told Salon. “We’ve had the Chinese Exclusion Act; we’ve had Japanese internment camps. Tell that to young people in our community, who think that someone is going to come round us up. It’s very traumatic.”
“But I’m happy to be in a place right now, in Columbus Circle, with people who say ‘Nope, not our watch,’” she added.
“The Syrian and Iraqi refugee crisis is directly tied to our service overseas,” Andrew Johnson, a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, an anti-war veterans group that co-sponsored the demonstration, told Salon. “We invaded, destabilized, and set off a sectarian in civil war in Iraq, from our invasion in 2003. And led to the foundation of ISIS.”
“It’s disgusting and completely anti-American,” he added. “The idea that we’re discussing banning immigrants, especially banning immigrants based on religion, is horrifying and seems to completely go against what this country was supposed to be founded on.”