VOL. 10 | NO. 4 | Saturday, January 21, 2017
Smaller Friday March Draws 200
By Bill Dries
A peaceful Friday night Downtown demonstration aimed at President Donald Trump on his first day in office drew approximately 200 people.
A group of 200 people marched Friday, Jan. 20, from Robert Church Park near Beale Street to the Civic Center Plaza in what some organizers called an “anti-racist, pro-immigration, pro-tolerance” demonstration.
A coalition of local groups staged the protest hours after President Donald Trump took the oath of office in Washington D.C.
The march was peaceful with a small police presence.
“We are not scared,” Nabil Bayakly of the group Muslims in Memphis, said of Trump’s presidency. “We are prepared. We are not scared. Nobody’s moving to Canada. We are all staying here.”
The bilingual march, with chants and speeches in English and Spanish, emphasized unity among the groups that have been active on different specific issues in recent years.
“This is the time more than ever that we need to stay together,” said Giovanna Lopez, training director of the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center.
Peace and Justice Center director Brad Watkins called Trump and his administration an “existential threat.”
“What we are here to do tonight is fight together,” he said. “We have an opportunity tonight to start something. We have an opportunity to put that aside and work on the deep issues that divide our community and recognize that black and brown alliance is a necessity now more than ever.”