Hundreds gathered at the Poughkeepsie Court House this afternoon for a demonstration billed as “No BAN No WALL.”
It included speakers with megaphones, stationed on the courthouse steps, speaking about the president’s recent executive order temporarily banning travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries and refugees worldwide. The event was organized by by the Bard Muslim Student Organization. Yesterday, that order was struck down by a federal judge and DHS and State Department employees were told to begin admitting individuals affected by it. President Trump quickly said the ruling by the “so-called” judge (James Robart of the western district court in Washington State) will be “overturned.”
As with other recent Hudson Valley demonstrations, the crowd was in good spirits. It seems the very act of coming together temporarily alleviates the kind of anger and anxiety that thrives in isolation and on social media. The crowd was youngish compared with recent protests targeting the Affordable Care Act repeal, with many area college students. In addition to the usual bonding of like minds, there were conspicuous displays of solidarity. Women in head scarfs elicited looks from white demonstrators that seemed to say, “I’m sorry, we’re not all bad.” Demonstrators went out of their way to be friendly with city police manning the roadblocks, making small talk and offering them coffee from the nearby Dunkin’ Donuts.
You could hear the chants from blocks away. No ban, no wall. The people united will be never be defeated.
Signs, as always, did the talking for most. No wall, no ban, no Bannon. Never Again. Nicht Mein Fuhrer. White silence = violence. Build bridges not walls. We shall overcomb. No one is illegal. History has its eyes on you, how will you be remembered?
The demonstration followed on the heels of the “Mid-Hudson Solidarity March and Rally” held Wednesday in Poughkeepsie, which also drew hundreds.