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Photos: Protesters Fill O'Hare Terminal Again In The Face Of Trump's 'Muslim Ban'

By aaroncynic in News on Jan 30, 2017 4:48AM

More than a thousand demonstrators flooded O’Hare International Airport for the second night in a row Sunday to protest President Donald Trump’s executive order banning refugees and others from several predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States. They were joined by local and state politicians alarmed by the federal ban.

“We’re here to stand against religious bigotry, hate, and the singling out of groups in our society for persecution,” Cook County Commissioner Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia told reporters prior to speaking at the rally. “That is what this is beginning to look like. All of us as good Americans have a responsibility to stand against it and to say that if one is picked on, it is a threat tomorrow to the well-being and liberty of other Americans." Several local politicians also joined the demonstration including Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Ald. Ricardo Munoz, State Rep. Theresa Mah and more.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel also stopped by and briefly spoke with a handful of reporters after shaking hands with some of the lawyers and others inside the airport.

Since Trump signed the order Friday afternoon, travelers worldwide have been impacted, many of whom were in transit after the order was signed and found themselves detained at airports around the U.S. upon their arrivals. Airports across the country have been scenes of worry and protest.

“The theme of all of our press conferences and protests has always been ‘unity and resistance,” said Hatem Abudayyeh, Executive Director of the Arab American Action Network. “The racist, anti-immigrant, anti-black, anti-women and anti poor people rhetoric that Trump rode to victory in the elections was of course going to lead to the vicious racist policies of today. All of us are here in resistance to these racist, xenophobic and Islamaphobic policies from a president who doesn’t have a mandate from the people of the United States.”

Inside the airport, volunteer lawyers, many of whom have been taking shifts at O'Hare since Friday, filled several tables near the arrivals gate and stood by holding signs offering help to anyone who might need it. While a judge issued an emergency stay on Saturday night that allowed Saturday's arrivals and in-transit travelers to stay in the country, the Trump administration has shown little signs of backing down, only pulling back slightly to allow those with green cards granting them permanent residence. Later, the Department of Homeland Security issued a formal order declaring legal residents exempt.

Back outside, the crowd stayed for hours after the initial press conference, chanting “no wall, no registry, no white supremacy” and “no papers, no fear, immigrants are welcome here.”