(Photo by Polly Parakul)

Photo by Polly Parakul

San Francisco Protests Against Muslim Ban

February 27, 2017

Photo by Polly Parakul
Chants of “no ban, no fear, refugees are welcome here,” echoed in the streets as people flooded the sidewalks and their social media accounts with images from the protest against the Muslim ban. This ban occurred following President Donald Trump’s Executive Order to ban all refugees and immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim nations for three months. The countries affected are Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia. Traveling American citizens and green card holders were not able to enter the country when they returned; some were detained while others were sent back to the place from which they departed. Ever since the order was signed on January 30, protests and rallies have occurred nationwide.

On Saturday, February 4, San Francisco’s Civic Center was faced with a peaceful protest assembled by activists Dex Torricke-Barton, Camilia Razavi, Arya Aliabadi, and Kayla Razavi, all of whom are the children of immigrants. The event featured many speakers of color who spoke about their love for their heritage, as well as their stories and experience with immigration. Thousands of protestors of all ages and ethnicities arrived with signs carrying messages such as “Respect Existence or Expect Resistance,” “Immigrants Make America Great,” and “No Human is Illegal,” demonstrating support for those affected by anti-immigration attitudes. The event assembled complete strangers and connected them through a common cause: speaking out against xenophobia.

Among the thousands of attendees was senior Clare Nicholson, who gave some insight into her experience.

“I feel like even though I wasn’t personally affected by the travel ban and won’t be but the wall, I still feel it’s my personal, moral duty to go stand up for those who can’t necessarily do it alone by themselves. [The protest] was really inspiring, especially the fact that it managed to stay as peaceful as it did, and just the fact that people were so respectful of the speakers. It was really cool to see so many people standing together for one cause. It’s upsetting to me that it took this much for our generation to become politically active, but at the same time, I’m grateful that now that the time is here, they are stepping forward,” said Nicholson.

Senior Tess Woods also attended the protest with Nicholson and discussed why she attended.

“I decided to join the protest because I feel like it’s really important to stand up for people in solidarity,
especially with the privilege that I have as a white person in this country. You could tell that the speakers were feeling really emotional. They were opening their hearts up. It made me feel that there would be more hope in the country. It felt really cathartic to go there and scream and hold up signs. It feels good to help and make sure the people’s voices are heard. I wouldn’t be protesting if people’s rights were not in jeopardy. It makes me feel really excited for what’s to come and how our generation is going to grow up and the effects we’ll have in the world,” said Woods.

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