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VOL. 132 | NO. 24 | Thursday, February 2, 2017

Trump Travel Ban March Draws 1,000

By Bill Dries

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A group of approximately 1,000 people, including immigrants from the Middle East, Mexico and Latin America as well as across various religious faiths, marched Downtown Wednesday, Feb. 1, to protest President Donald Trump’s immigration travel ban order.

The march was from Clayborn Temple, west on Pontotoc Avenue and south on Mulberry Street to the National Civil Rights Museum.

Muslims in the march brought prayer mats and prayed in the museum’s courtyard below the balcony where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.

Dr. Yasir Qadhi, assistant professor of religious studies at Rhodes College and resident scholar at Memphis Islamic Center, led the prayers and then told the diverse crowd in the courtyard, “America will not become great by cutting itself off from its neighbors. … We also owe an allegiance to the rest of humanity. We are all equally human.”

Children in the march wore cardboard headbands reading “Proud To Be an Immigrant”

The crowd chanted “No Ban, No Wall” and “We Will Win.”

Signs included the slogans “Dump Trump Resist,” “We Will Not Be Silent” and “Mexican Born, American Built.”

Nabil Bayakly of Muslims in Memphis urged the marchers to “flip the Senate” in the 2018 Congressional mid-term elections and to make U.S. Rep. David Kustoff a “one term Congressman” for his support of Trump

“America never stood for religious tests,” he said of the travel ban order. “This is not what America is.”

Veronica Marquez, of Comunidades Unidas En Una Voz, which organized the march, accused Trump of “trying to push us back into the shadows.”

The city had earlier indicated it would not grant a permit for the march because of a requirement in the city ordinance governing permits requiring 14 days advance notice. But the city declared the march “lawful” after organizers pointed out an exception in the ordinance for protests that are a response to “spontaneous events occasioned by news or affairs coming into public knowledge within three days of such public assembly.”

Trump signed the travel ban order Jan. 27, affecting those from seven majority-Muslim countries.

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