Sunday, February 5, 2017

Solidarity was expanding everywhere. LGBT Community & Allies Gather at Stonewall National Monument for Solidarity Rally against Trump's Recent Executive Order. 


One of my favorite moments of the day.

As usual, Erik McGregor took some incredible shots.

On February 4, 2017, New York Elected Officials, thousands of LGBTQ members and concerned New Yorkers gathered at the Stonewall National Monument in Greenwich Village, New York in response to Donald Trump’s recent executive orders targeting Muslim, Latino/Latina, immigrant and refugee communities. This rally brought together citizens of all backgrounds, standing in solidarity with those targeted by these actions.
#2017 #Activism #celebrities #DefendDemocracy #demonstration #...DonaldTrump #DumpTrump #ElectedOfficials #GayRights #GOP #humanrights #LGBTQ #LoveTrumpsHate #muslimban #MuslimRights #NewYork #NoBan #NotMyPresident #NoWall #NYC #PeacefulProtest #PeacefulResistance #Protest #rally #RefugeesWelcome #refusefascism #RejectPresidentElect #ResistTrump #revolution #RiseAndResist #SanctuaryCity #‎Solidarity #StonewallInn #StopTheHate #trump #trumpvsallofus #WomenRights
photo and caption by
© Erik McGregor - - 917-225-8963

Thousands gatherred at Stonewall in solidarity with Muslim, Latino, refugee and immigrant communities who are being targeted by the Trump administration.  Riding over to Christopher Street, it felt like all of New York was going to the LGBT Solidarity Rally.

The invitation declared.

"Join us in front of the Stonewall Inn as we stand in solidarity with every immigrant, asylum seeker, refugee and every person impacted by Donald Trump's illegal, immoral, unconstitutional and un-American executive orders. We will also speak out against Trump's selection of the most anti-LGBT nominees and appointees in modern history."

Every time, I come to an event like this, I feel like I live in a city of friends, with people I have known for two solid decades popping up everywhere, people I have acted up, gone to jail, ridden bikes with, prayed at Judson with, throughout my years here. This is where the democracy of the streets matters. 

And Saturday was no different.

The Trump administration's attacks compelled widespread gestures of solidarity.
"FIRST THEY CAME FOR THE MUSLIMS" declared one sign at LGBT march.

"STRONGER TOGETHER" and "GAYS FOR MUSLIMS" declared two more signs of solidarity at the LGBT march!

All week, people around the city have tried to stand up for each other, in solidarity.
the administration's #Muslim Ban, which was keeping one of the students at CUNY from coming back to school for the semester.  She was sent back to Tehran
Instead of cultural exchange, the administration was promoting xenophobia. But New Yorkers were pushing back.

During the rally, I received a message from Barbara Bowen of my union, the PSC, stating that
the "PSC member Saira Rafiee granted re-entry to U.S."

Dear PSC Members and Friends,
Saira Rafiee, the PSC member and CUNY doctoral student who was denied entry into the U.S. as a result of President Trump's atrocious executive order banning legal immigrants from seven countries, has been granted re-entry to the United States. Ms. Rafiee landed a few hours ago in Boston and is on her way back to CUNY and to us.
CUNY student activists, lawyers from CUNY's Citizenship Now! program, family members and others were at Logan Airport to greet her. That Saira was able to return is thanks to a huge collective effort-together with her own political courage and vision. Even while the outcome of her own case was uncertain, Saira insisted that she be seen as one among many; she called on us to elevate the cases of people without unions and with less access to public voice.
Union support matters. Hundreds of PSC members responded to the union's call for messages urging action on Saira's case, helping to focus public attention on her case. (Click here for a sample of media coverage on PSC and student actions last week.) PSC officers sought advice from the extraordinary immigration lawyers who work at CUNY, and enlisted the support of Senator Schumer, the American Federation of Teachers, Mayor de Blasio, and several other Congressional and local representatives. All deserve our thanks.
Meanwhile CUNY student government leaders and other student activists organized a rally and press conference with the Brooklyn Borough President on Monday. The PSC Grad Center chapter acted immediately last weekend and then held a rally and march on Wednesday. In addition, the Grad Center administration worked hard to bring Saira home, coordinating closely Citizenship Now!, whose lawyers-among them, PSC members-brilliantly handled Saira's case. Collective action worked.
The executive order has been temporarily suspended, following the decision by Judge Robart of Washington last night. But the fight continues. The PSC will resist the Trump agenda as it attacks students, unions, workers and the principles on which universities are founded. Thought has no borders.
Thank you all for your support. We are lucky to have Saira Rafiee in the union and we are happy to have her home.
In solidarity,
Barbara Bowen

Advocacy organizations applaud reinstatement of visas, encourage travelers to book flights immediately

February 4, 2017 (New York, NY) - The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) at the Urban Justice Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Immigration Law Center, Make the Road New York, and the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization at Yale Law School applaud last night's ruling of a federal judge in Washington State, which halts the implementation of parts of President Trump's travel ban nationwide. As a result of this temporary restraining order, citizens of the seven affected countries will have their revoked visas reinstated (unless they were stamped 'canceled') and will be allowed to travel to the United States. The judge's ruling also prohibits the executive order's freeze on refugee admissions, including the indefinite ban on Syrian refugee admissions.
In light of this, we encourage all travelers from the seven affected countries to rebook travel to the United States immediately, while the stay of the executive order remains in place and visas are valid. For more information for travelers, visit this page. People with a physically canceled visa should reach out to our helpline so we can inform them there of the latest developments.
IRAP's Director, Becca Heller, stated: "The ruling by Judge James Robart in Washington demonstrates yet again the illegitimacy of the executive order. We encourage all U.S. visa holders who have been affected by the order to travel to the United States as soon as possible, while the stay is in place. We also call for the instant resumption of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program to immediately take the most vulnerable refugees out of harm's way.
"We strongly urge all enforcing entities to comply with the judge's ruling for the duration of its validity. The reinstatement of visas is the only right move to remedy the situation of the last week, which has caused havoc here in the United States and across the world," Heller added.
Omar Jadwat, Director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project, commented: "This ruling is another stinging rejection of President Trump's unconstitutional Muslim ban. We will keep fighting to permanently dismantle this un-American executive order."
NILC Legal Director Karen Tumlin added: "Washington Attorney General Ferguson reminded President Trump that the Constitution protects all of us -- not just the rich and powerful. We look forward to working with him and others to fight back against every unlawful attack on immigrants and refugees."
Javier H. Valdés, Co-Executive Director of Make the Road New York, emphasized: "Yesterday, a federal judge dealt a major blow to President Trump's unconstitutional executive order. With this backward policy halted, we urge everyone with valid visas from affected countries to come to the United States immediately. While we are confident that the court will continue to reject the President's Muslim and refugee ban, we believe valid visa holders should travel here now to ensure they are let into the country."

Clare Kane, a law student intern at the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization at the Yale Law School, added: "We have been in contact with hundreds of people impacted by the ban, and we are urging them to get on planes as quickly as possible. The Trump administration has said they will appeal the judge's ruling - so people should get on planes as soon as possible to reunite with their families, to access potentially life-saving healthcare, to flee life-threatening situations abroad, or to come home to their lives in the United States."

Heller added: "We would like to thank all of the airlines that notified affected passengers in compliance with the order: Air France, British Airways, Egyptair, Emirates Airlines, Etihad Airways, KLM, Lufthansa, and Qatar Airways.
"This ruling provides tremendous relief to the thousands of people that have been trying to reach the United States for sometimes urgent reasons and who were prevented from doing so by the discriminatory and unconstitutional order. The executive order has caused enough harm already. It's time to revoke it indefinitely," Heller concluded.
Information for affected travelers can be found here:
International Refugee Assistance Project at the Urban Justice Center
 Solidarity was expanding everywhere.
 The courts were pushing back. 

And activism was working.

It was a glorious Saturday.

Solidarity expanding everywhere. LGBT march.

A Saturday stroll through Bushwick
Courtesy of Elizabeth Meixell. This is my favorite protest sign of late!

Image may contain: one or more people
My other favorite photo lately. Courtesy Andrew Boyd!
Charles King!
Photo and caption by Andy Humm:
Defrosting after three and a half hours in the streets outside the Stonewall at the
LGBT rally in solidarity with those being persecuted by Trump's travel ban.
Many veterans of our movements out there, but many first-time protesters. We
will not be divided. And we're in for the long haul.

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