Today I got to take part in a wonderful march and rally for immigrants and refugees in downtown Dallas. Nearly 1,700 supporters marched, chanted, and showed their support for the immigrants and refugees in Dallas and around the world. People of all colours, ethnicities, and religions rallied together screaming chants like “say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here.” and “say it loud, say it clear, immigrants are welcome here.”
There were some great speakers at the rally also, such as Imam Suleiman. During his speech he said “We will continue to live without fear. We will not allow cities to be bullied by people who don’t understand the constitution.” And a Northwest Presbyterian Pastor who had a great message saying “Lies and falsehood and deception will not win. But I’ll tell you what wins, love wins. Our job is to wake the world up to that fact.”
People also stood to tell their stories such as a mother who’s an immigrant and also now an immigrant attorney. She told the story of how her son was playing soccer a few weeks ago and then got into a small disagreement with another player on the field. The player told her son to go “blow himself up.” Another came from a man who is a refugee himself. He talked about how he received a death threat so had to flee his country to Jordan. As a refugee there he was not allowed to work so began volunteering to help other newcomer refugees arriving in Jordan. This led to him becoming a board member after continuously being promoted by this volunteer agency. After ten years in Jordan he was able to seek refuge in America where he also works and volunteers for many refugee agencies. He ended his speech by saying “When we arrived in Dallas two years ago we were warmly welcomed with open arms at DFW. That’s who Americans are, loving, caring and compassionate.”
There was a small group of about 6-7 Trump supporters who showed up. They stood opposite the street of the rally. They all said that they were there to support Trump as well as the second amendment. One was there with her legal immigrant husband saying they both just want legal immigrants.
The rally lasted for nearly 3 hours and definitely drew a good sized crowd. It stayed completely peaceful and sent a great message of acceptance but you could also sense so much frustration with the new administration. A mother at the rally said she is expecting there to be more and more protests over the next 4 years if America continues down this path of nonacceptance, hate, and discrimination.