Hours after several protesters appeared at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport in support of Muslim refugees and travelers who were detained there, protests broke out across several airports around the country calling for an immediate end to the “unconstitutional” travel ban on Muslim immigrants. As of this writing, a protest is underway outside San Francisco International Airport where a large group of protesters blocked the street in front of the international arrivals area. SFO Airport authorities later clarified that they have closed the road leading to the arrivals area in view of the protests and confirmed that passengers can be still picked up near the departures area. According to reports, the protesters chanted “racists out, refugees in” and sang “This Land is Your Land.”
Massive crowd of SFO protestors now inside the airport. Steady stream of new protestors still arriving, too. pic.twitter.com/JCyeCZohS1— Parker Higgins (@xor) January 29, 2017
While it remains unclear who the people are behind these fresh protests, what has become evident is that calls for such widespread protests are being shared through social media networks using the hashtag #MuslimBan. One of the protesters at the SFO airport included a woman identified as Lara Kiswani, who confirmed to ABC 7 News that she is an organizer with the Arab Resource and Organizing Center said. According to Lara, she was here to help immigrants who are stuck inside the airport just because of their religion.
“We have lawyers currently at SFO. What we’re not clear about is who or what type of families are being held, whether they’re from Syria or Iran or other countries, we don’t know for certain,” Kiswani was quoted saying.
People have called for more such protests outside airports across the country in the days to come. A Twitter user posted details about all the current protests and the ones planned across the U.S. in the next few days. Airports where protests are currently underway, and where more such protests are being planned include Washington D.C.’s Dulles Airport, San Francisco International Airport, LAX International Terminal, Denver International Airport, Portland Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Salt Lake City Airport, San Diego International Airport, Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport, Philadelphia International Airport, and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
NO PICKUPS @ JFK Airport 6 PM to 7 PM today. Drivers stand in solidarity with thousands protesting inhumane & unconstitutional #MuslimBan.— NY Taxi Workers (@NYTWA) January 28, 2017
The complete list of airports and locations where protesters are expected to come together were detailed in this Twitter thread. The list includes several smaller airports across the U.S. In New York, a separate protest was also underway in Newark.
1. Thread of protests happening against the #MuslimBan:— Adrienne Varkiani (@AdrienneMahsa) January 28, 2017
Apart from protesters, many people who thronged to airports across the U.S. included attorneys who responded to a call from the International Refugee Assistance Project who asked attorneys to help immigrants.
“I’m concerned about the abuse of law and the disregard for the constitution,” a lawyer said of Trump’s order.
According to several lawyers, relatives of several immigrants spent most of their day waiting outside airports not knowing whether their loved ones would be let into the U.S. or be returned to their respective countries of origin.
Meanwhile, following the announcement of The American Civil Liberties Union to go ahead with legal action on behalf of two individuals stuck in New York, the group also added that it would file suits on behalf of 20 other people on Monday. On Saturday, it was taking legal action on behalf of two individuals detained in New York under the order.
“We are prepared to fight back against these racist executive orders and will defend and protect all communities and normalize resistance to Trump everywhere,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
Update: As of this writing, a Brooklyn judge issued an emergency stay which temporarily freezes the expulsion of travelers. This stay was granted after a habeas corpus was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.
The stay order was passed by Judge Ann Donnelly of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Following the news of the stay order, several protesters rejoiced and termed it an important victory.
[Featured Image by Craig Ruttle/AP Images]