Thousands of angry protesters have staged a rally in New York City to protest President Donald Trump’s plans to curb immigration, specially from Muslim countries.
Scores of angry demonstrators gathered in the Washington Square Park on Wednesday night, shortly after the new president signed executive orders to begin the construction of a wall on the border with Mexico and to crack down on states that harbor immigrants.
Following his campaign pledge to ban Muslims from entering America, Trump is also expected to sign another executive order which blocks the entry of Syrian refugees and suspends the entry of any immigrants from Syria and other Muslim countries like Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Iran, Libya and Yemen.
The protesters held signs that encouraged unity and inclusiveness, while chanting “This is what America looks like,” and “No ban! No wall! This is our New York!”
Organized by the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the protesters they pledged that the city would remain a haven for immigrants.
“We know and we feel the plight of those that are most vulnerable, and we are here today to let everyone know that our solidarity, our strength, lies in our diversity, and our mission is to make sure that everyone receives justice and that this is truly an indivisible nation,” Afaf Nasher, the executive director of CAIR New York, said.
“I’m here to say I add my voice to the resistance,” said City Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
According to Kavita Pawria-Sanchez, the assistant commissioner of the mayor’s office of immigrant affairs, called Trump’s move a “disgrace” and said Mayor de Blasio was siding with the protesters.
“We are so proud to stand beside you in this fight for over 3 million immigrant New Yorkers. We know that New York is the city that has perhaps the largest Muslim population in the entire country,” she said. “What happened today was an absolute disgrace to our values as a city, community and country.”
Meanwhile, Public Advocate Letitia James said the resistance to Trump was in the same league as the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.
“This is the struggle of all Americans,” she said. “We’ve got to join hands and protect the marginalized community and vulnerable communities.”
Police arrested at least six protesters in a separate rally near Columbus Circle.