By Tania Romero & Seema Govil
The protest on Sunday this week against President Trump’s executive order at Austin Bergstrom International Airport began with a Facebook post. The night before, activist John Burleson saw that only 19 people were interested in going. But by Sunday morning, that number had reached almost 300+ people on the Facebook page. At the start of the protest at 2pm, a near 500 protesters gathered outside of the arrival area, as an outcry against president Trump’s executive order, imposing temporary restrictions on immigrants and refugees entering the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries.
The mass shockwaves of disapproval could be seen in the assembly of diverse crowds at international airports across the nation. Attorneys and local political leaders were among protesters who perceive this present mandate as a violation of the first amendment in the Constitution, fueling the increasing discriminatory fervor against Islam religion.
Several crowd members at the protest in Austin took turns speaking into a megaphone to share their own stories. A young Sudanese Muslim-American woman, with her child strapped across her chest, recounted her uncertainty as to whether her husband visiting family in Sudan will return safely next Friday. She told the crowd “No ban on Muslims. No walls. We need to be united.”
Her words struck a chord with other participants, who proceeded to share their own immigrant family stories in solidarity. One man held a sign in support that read “6thGeneration Immigrant”, and a retired Army officer stated, “this is not what my family fought for in this country.”
The Austin community continues to deliver a welcoming message to Muslims and refugees, by organizing a gathering at the First English Lutheran Church on Monday night and at the Texas Muslim Capitol Day on Tuesday, January 31st.