Los Angeles Marches and Rallies Against Trump’s Travel Ban

19 Oct

 

About 250 people, on Sunday, Oct. 15, in downtown Los Angeles, protested against the presidential proclamation of Sept. 24 that would have banned, beginning Wednesday, Oct. 18, citizens from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea from entering the United States.

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Marchers  in Los Angeles at the Japanese American National Museum, on Sunday, Oct. 15, gather before protesting Trump’s Ban 3.0; photo by Barry Saks

The Council on American-Islamic Relations of Greater Los Angeles, which its website says its vision is to be a leading advocate for justice and mutual understanding, organized the protest, which CAIR-LA dubbed the “No Muslim Ban Ever.”

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Asmaa Ahmed Speaks to the prtotesters outside the JANM, Oct. 15; photo by Barry Saks

The protest assembled at the Japanese American National Museum, where speakers were heard atop a wooden-gated truck.  Asmaa Ahmed, who’s the Policy and Advocacy Coordinator at CAIR-LA, emceed.  Ahmed said, “Our speakers at this location will be highlighting the similarities between the Muslim Ban and other exclusionary policies we’ve seen throughout history, like the incarceration of the Japanese-American community.”  She added that after the speeches at this location, the protest would head next to the Roybal Court Center, which houses the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Citizenship Immigration Services and the Metropolitan Detention Center, and finish at the Federal Courthouse.

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Rick Noguchi speaks to protesters

Rick Noguchi, the chief operating officer of JANM, said, “It is fitting that we are gathered here to protest the Muslim Ban.  It is fitting that the march today will begin on exactly the spot where 75 years ago L.A.’s Japanese Americans were loaded on to buses that would take them to America’s concentration camps….(B)ecause the Japanese-American community knows all too well what race hysteria and the failure of political leadership can lead to, we will never ignore new calls for prejudicial treatment of any group.”

Former internee Kanji Sahara, who told the crowd he was too arthritic to stand, sat and explained what happened from the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese to when he, his family and the Japanese-American community were registered and then interned during the remainder of World War II.  Sahara ended with “Never again.”

Following the speeches, the protesters marched and chanted to the second protest site, the Roybal Court Center.  The protesters chanted: Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, the Muslim ban has got to go; Say it loud, say it clear, immigrants are welcome here; No ban, no wall, go back to building shopping malls; No Justice, No Peace; Love trumps hate; You build a wall, we tear it down.

At the end of the speeches at the Roybal Court Center, the protesters chanted and marched to their last stop, the Federal Courthouse.

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Hussam Ayloush speaks, on Sunday, Oct.15, against the Travel Ban 3.0; photo by Barry Saks

Hussam Ayloush, who is the Executive Director at CAIR-LA, thanked everyone who organized the protest and marched.  He said, “For me it is personal, as an American Muslim.  My parents are from Syria… How can I tell my relatives they cannot come here to seek education or medical treatment or come and visit, just because they happen to be Muslims from that part of the world?”

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Mark Masaoka, longtime labor and community activist, and Manusha Kulkami, who is the Executive Director of A3PCON (Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council, hold an A3PCON banner, on Sunday, Oct. 15,  before the protest; photo by Barry Saks.

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