It was one year ago this week that the Trump administration first showed it’s true colors.
Not that we didn’t already have a good idea of what was coming – at least those of us that followed Trump’s campaign rhetoric and saw the men that he installed into leadership positions in his White House.
On January 27th, 2017, seemingly with no warning – at least no warning to the members of DHS and TSA that had to enforce the order – Trump’s White House issued a ban of people coming from seven, majority Muslim nations.
The ACLU described Executive Order 13769 this way:
“[it] prohibited citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for 90 days, suspended the entry of all refugees for at least 120 days, and barred Syrian refugees indefinitely.”
The ACLU and many other groups filed petitions in court, and American citizens, almost completely organized by grassroots and facebook groups, went to airports in Chicago, LA, NYC and others to protest the ban. In fact, I was at JFK for NationofChange, covering the no Muslim ban protests.
Lawyers joined the protesters in droves and the ban was put on hold by a judge in the Eastern District of New York.
Since then, the ban has seen multiple incarnations, each time being either put on hold or knocked down by courts. Currently the ban stands, as of December 4th, in process.
The ACLU reports:
“The Supreme Court granted the Trump administration’s request to temporarily allow the latest Muslim ban to take full effect as the case is litigated.”
On January 27th, 2018, I joined hundreds of local and national Muslim, immigrant, refugee, and civil rights organizations in front of the White House to protest the one-year anniversary of the first Muslim and Refugee Ban and subsequent bans that have discriminated against communities and dismantled the refugee resettlement program.
As with a lot of the Trump resistance fights, the rally and march that started in front of the White House saw a smaller crowd than the protests a long year ago as the fights become more nuanced and the initial widespread rage either fades or becomes overwhelmed by the next rage.
One hopeful note from the “Muslim/Refugee Ban: A Year of Resistance” rally was the wide spread support displayed by the groups that showed. From Moveon.org to the Jewish group J-Street, these groups represented with solidarity in front of the White House.
At the rally, D.C. Metro Chapter Co-Chair of J-Street, Mathew Meyers, said:
“…we strongly oppose the travel ban, also known as the Muslim ban, also known as the refugee ban… whatever you call it, it’s wrong, and we won’t quit until it’s history… This ban will not make us safer, it will make us weaker. J-Street is proud to stand with all of you today, America is better than this ban and together we will defeat it.”
The rally saw speakers from Yasmine Taeb, Iranian American and Legislative Director for Human Rights & Civil Liberties, Friends Committee on National Legislation, to Christian Rev. Reuben Eckels from Kansas.
Once the Impeachment March decided to reroute to the White House and join the space that the Muslim Ban rally had been taking up, the combined groups marched towards the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C.
From there, the combined marchers joined with an LGBTQ dance group that moved on through the streets of the capitol.
I can’t be sure if any of this was planned, but weirdly enough, it all seemed to work. And it presented a new possibility for the resistance moving forward, one that involves the cooperation of groups in the resistance that you wouldn’t normally think of: Gay and Lesbian groups joining forces with Muslims who join forces with the primarily white, middle class Impeachment and #resist efforts.
If the numbers at these anniversary marches and rallies continue to decrease as they have with the Women’s March… a combined overall effort will be needed to rally enough numbers to continue the #resist movement. Whatever that means in 2018.
With the the second Science March coming up, and no doubt a 350.org march being announced soon, it will be interesting to see what the numbers are there in the nation’s capitol and around the country.
What this means for momentum moving into the 2018 primary season and the November mid-term elections… only time will tell.