On Feb. 18, more than 2500 people gathered in Powderhorn Park in Minneapolis to protest President Trump’s recent executive orders against immigrants. The MN Anti-War Committee and the No More Deportations campaign co-sponsored the rally which was followed by a community march to show solidarity with the immigrants and refugees targeted by President Trump’s executive orders.
Gloria Velazquez was the first speaker at the rally. She spoke for the MN Immigrant Rights Action Committee’s No More Deportation Campaign to announce their rapid response network to oppose ICE operations.
Stephanie Taylor, representing the Anti-War Committee, explained the relationship between Trump’s ban and the War on Terror. “As we know, the seven countries targeted by Trump's immigration ban are countries where there are large Muslim populations, representing an attempt to ban Muslims from immigrating to the U.S. altogether. Importantly, however, it is no coincidence that all seven countries have also been the target of U.S. wars and military intervention. Most obviously, the Iraqi people have been subjected to repeated U.S. military intervention and occupation and, now, after having their homes, neighborhoods, and cities destroyed by U.S. bombs and armaments and being made into migrants, they are being told that they cannot migrate to the U.S.” She emphasized, “To target and blame the victims of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East is racist and wrong. We demand that the U.S. get out of the Middle East now!”
Other speakers included Loretta Van Pelt of the Twin Cities Coalition 4 Justice 4 Jamar, who announced their upcoming protest on Feb. 28 against Trump’s pro-police executive orders. Jess Sundin from the Committee to Stop FBI Repression also spoke. Sundin addressed the campaign to defend Rasmea Odeh, a Chicago-based Palestinian community leader who is being targeted with bogus charges of immigration fraud, justified with the same racist rhetoric that fuels the so-called War on Terror abroad, and the Muslim ban here at home. Sabry Wazwaz, also from the MN Anti-War Committee, was the last speaker and led chants on the march.
Protesters marched on Lake Street past hundreds of immigrant owned-businesses to say, “Immigrants are welcome here!” The march was led by a kids contingent of 40 young people ranging from children in strollers to middle school students. They loudly chanted together, “You build a wall, we’ll tear it down!”