Documentation. Witnesses. Facts. Truth. That's what they're afraid of.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

A Few Thoughts From the JFK Protest

I set out for the protest at JFK tonight partially as a spectator and partially to bring hand warmers and booze to the protesters. The truth is, I've done very little protesting in my life; I imagine that means I've been pretty privileged.

What I saw there was astounding; several thousand protesters who were more coordinated than I would've expected, and a lot of extraordinarily positive energy. Solidarity through and through.

I spontaneously decided to live stream the protest through Twitter and immediately felt much more part of it. It was amazing to have hundreds of people all over the world watching and to be able to communicate with them as well as the people in the crowd at the same time. It's something I plan to do a lot more of going forward.

There was a lot of press there; I saw ABC and CNN there, and the viewers on my stream said they were watching on Al-Jazeera and BBC, among others. There were probably 5,000 people there. At one point, they tried to start a march, but asked only American citizens to join, as they did not want to get any immigrants arrested. That never materialized, as the group ended up just stopping to disrupt traffic, which they did very effectively. It stinks that we have to do that, but we got a lot of attention without hurting anyone.

There were two groups of police at the event. The first were those in regular uniforms. I was very impressed by their patience and cooperation with us. They had no problem with us stopping traffic, as long as we let some of it through here and there.

The second group wasn't so friendly; they were decked in riot gear (so unnecessary!) and were keeping protesters from leaving via AirTrain. When my battery died, I decided to go home to charge it and then go to the Cadman Plaza protest. However, the militarized police would not let anyone leave without a plane ticket, and laughed at me when I asked to get on using my Metrocard. Less of that, please.

The bottom line, though, was mission accomplished, at least for now:

A federal judge in New York has issued an emergency order temporarily barring the U.S. from deporting people from nations subject to President Donald Trump's travel ban.
U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly issued the order Saturday evening after lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union filed a court petition on behalf of people from seven predominantly Muslim nations who were detained at airports across the country as the ban took effect.

But we're going to have to keep fighting. While we were protesting, this happened:

In another series of executive orders on Saturday, Pres. Donald Trump restructured the National Security Council (NSC) and created a position on it for senior aide and former CEO Stephen K. Bannon.

Bannon is basically the root of the worst of the evil in the Trump regime. We cannot allow this to go unnoticed. If there's a protest against this action, I'm there, as we now have a white supremacist on the National Security Council.

Eight days down... Tomorrow's another day. I'm on it.

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