Rally at Battery Park & March to Foley Square
Now what to create? With only an hour and a half left of time, my partner in art and in life, Jarlyne, agreed that we should create signs that we'd both take on the same image with different approaches that sent a clear message about our perspective on the situation. I gathered some cardboard, turned on my projector, and photoshopped a picture of Trump and a toddler. It feels like we have a child who is going through his "terrible twos" stage for President (no offense to two-year-olds). There he is—sitting on America's flag, despite his bigotry, racism and sexism, playing with our constitution like they are blocks that could be built up and torn down.
We got off the train with our signs and could see others walking in the same direction, holding signs they created, just like us. Off in the distance, the Statue of Liberty, a place where immigrants once traveled through to start a new life with their families. It is the perfect representation of what we are still fighting for.
A familiar voice could be heard on the mic. As we approached Battery Park the chanting grew louder— we knew we had arrived. A familiar voice could be heard on the mic, "Can it be? Yup!" It was exactly who we thought it was, our good friend, activist, and New York Immigration Coalition's Campaign Manager, Carlene Pinto.
We were greeted by Carlene after she had led the crowd through some chants. Together they repeated, "no ban, no wall!"
No ban, no wall, New Yorkers for all!
No ban, no wall, make America for all!
There was a great lineup of speakers: Mayor Bill de Blasio, Senator Chuck Schumer, Senator Kristen Gillibrand, Senator Cory Booker, U.S. Representative Nydia Velasquez, Congressman Adriano Espaillat, Senator Marisol Alcantara, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, U.S. Representative Jerry Nadler, to name a few. It was important for us to witness public support from our representatives.
We also heard stories from refugees and immigrants. They spoke about how their lives were changed for the better once they reached the U.S.
Then began the march to Foley Square. Everyone peacefully gathered behind a banner that read "NO BAN NO WALL." We marched slowly to many chants for the next hour or so until we got to Foley Square. Foley Square is the location of the federal Immigration offices; the place where everyone wanted their message heard regarding the immigration ban.
No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here!
No hate no fear, refugees are welcome here!
No hate no fear, muslims are welcomed here!
What do we want? Justice!
When do we want it? Now!
If we don't get it? Shut it down!
We arrived at Foley Square. There, people continued to chant through the night. By the end of the march over 10,000 people had hit the streets of NYC to share this historical moment of opposition through peaceful protest.
When our communities are under attack, what do we do?
Stand up, fight back!
Let's continue to be involved.