West Hartford Holds Immigration Protest

by Humera Gul

Signs calling for the end of executive orders were seen as hundreds of people protest against President Donald Trump’s executive order last Friday to temporarily ban travel from seven Muslim countries, at the West Hartford Town Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 1.

The crowd chanted, “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA.”  This phrase exemplifies the frustrations that people have on both sides of the political spectrum.

Many Muslim and non-Muslim people gathered to show their support for immigrants and refugees, while holding signs and protesting. There were also speeches from protest organizers, students and local leaders that support the Muslim community.

“We will not turn our back on refugees and we will not give ISIS more material to refute to religious hate.  We stand for Connecticut values, we stand for the United States and we stand for human rights,” said Mobashar Akram, director of the Islamic Center of Connecticut.

“We want a leader, not a traitor. Today we stand together with everyone and we say an attack on one of us is an attack on all us. We will fight back in Congress, we will fight back in the streets and we will fight back wherever we can through legal means,” said Akram.

“Trump’s executive order is cruel. This action is a new low, a stain on our history,” said Mayor Shari Cantor of West Hartford, from the stage set up for speeches at the top of the steps of the town hall.

The presidential campaign included a lot of hate rhetoric, especially towards Muslims and Mexicans. Now, it is clear that it wasn’t just talk; actions are being put into place.

Many people at the protest were angry, questioning why the ban was put forth in the first place.

“This isn’t a matter of security at all.  If it were a matter of security, I would not care, but we are blaming an entire religion and seven countries of that religion for a crime no one has ever done in our country,” said John Boyko, a protestor at the event. “No person from the seven banned countries has ever carried out an act of terrorism.  Fear is being used to drive out love and humanity,” said Boyko.

Many people who attended the rally shared their thoughts about the new executive order.

“I cannot explain how it feels. We are facing so much hatred and racism, and the president is promoting it. We do not feel safe anymore,” said Aadil Khan, another protestor.
The travel ban is for 90 days, and more countries can be withdrawn from the ban after the first 30 days.

After a lot of pressure from media, politicians and world leaders, Trump does not seem to be backing down from his executive order to ban Muslims and immigration.