Virginia Cities Rally Against Trump's Muslim Ban

Jan 29, 2017

Hundreds of protesters attended the rally at Harrisonburg's Court Square.
Credit Christopher Clymer Kurtz

In cities and airports across the nation this weekend protesters responded to the recent executive order signed by President Trump that bans immigrants from seven countries with Muslim majorities. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz filed these excerpts from what people had to say at a rally in Harrisonburg yesterday.

If the Sunday noon rally on Harrisonburg’s Court Square sounds like it was spontaneous and impassioned, that’s because it was.

ERIN MURRAY: My name is Erin Murray and I just organized this yesterday afternoon.

Even before a sound system arrived, a handful of speakers took to the courthouse steps to speak to the hundreds who were gathering, including Harrisonburg City Schools Superintendent Scott Kizner:

SCOTT KIZNER: We always say that the strength of our school system is our diversity. We accept everyone and we love everyone.

Rebecca Sprague, Community Program Coordinator for Church World Service:

REBECCA SPRAGUE:  We have 14 people on our list that have flights scheduled that are not going to be able to come now.

Saber Khoshnaw is from northern Iraq:

SABER KHOSHNAW: My son-in-law today in Kurdistan of Iraq -- Yesterday he is American with my daughter citizen and granddaughter citizen, and somebody tell them you are not American today.

Jim Moore raised a cherry picker over the street with a large banner proclaiming, “Immigration built our nation” and “One nation without fear, without hate.”

CROWD CHANTING: “Immigration built our nation.”

Moore said he’s had a hard time listening to the news recently.

JIM MOORE: I hate to see everyone drinking the Kool-Aid.

In Charlottesville, WMRA's Jordy Yager filed this report from the UVa grounds.

About 700 people gathered outside the University of Virginia’s Rotunda Sunday to protest a recent series of executive orders issued by President Donald Trump.

The actions take aim at immigrants in the U.S. illegally while also temporarily halting the arrival of refugees, and issuing a 90-day ban on citizens traveling from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

A group of UVA students over the weekend wrote University President Teresa Sullivan. Sophomore Hannah Melissa Borja read the open letter before Sunday’s crowd. She is a member of the DREAMERS on Grounds, a UVA group that advocates for undocumented students.

HANNAH MELISSA BORJA: We demand that you, as a university, take long overdue action. Prove to your students that you care, that you stand behind them, and that you will protect their access to higher education at all costs.

Several other students spoke, as did Charlottesville Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy. The crowd marched down the UVA Lawn circled through campus and rallied in front of the Dean of Students office.