This Is What Democracy Looks Like

by Valerie Williams
Originally Published: 
Image via Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Airport protests erupt in support of detainees and refugees

Yesterday, protests broke out in several major airports across the country in response to President Trump’s recent executive order banning entry of Syrian refugees indefinitely, all refugees for 120 days, and all citizens from seven predominately Muslim countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen) for 90 days.

Thousands of people showed up at airports in New York, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston and other cities to defend immigrants and detainees affected by the ban.

This is exactly what democracy looks like.

Since Trump’s January 20th inauguration, the new president has enacted executive orders that are equal parts horrifying and unconstitutional. The most egregious so far is the immigration ban he signed late in the afternoon on January 27th.

Fortunately, according to The New York Times, Judge Ann Donnelly, of the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of New York, issued an emergency stay last night allowing between 100-200 detainees at various airports to be released. The order came after testimony from A.C.L.U. lawyers who argued the ban would cause irreparable harm and that a Syrian refugee was about to be put back on a plane to Syria at that very moment as a result of Trump’s EO.

The harrowing events of the last 36 hours have been chronicled on social media, which is full of videos of both the protests and the crowds cheering at the news of the emergency stay.

In these uncertain times, it’s heartening to see decent and moral people rising up to defend those in need. These protests are truly what America is all about.

Most heart-warming of all are the videos of crowds cheering and welcoming the detainees after their release. If this doesn’t make you well up with pride, we’re not sure what will.

This right here. This is America. This is the country we love, full of good people willing to speak up for those who can’t. No matter what one evil person tries to do, we need to remember the power of our numbers — the power of us simply showing up and saying out loud that we will not stand for this.

The protests and resulting ruling prove love can overcome hate, even if it doesn’t happen right away.

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