Photography by Rachel Kober
On Saturday afternoon, droves of New Yorkers descended upon the West Village to voice their rejection of President Trump’s immigration ban. Organized by council member Corey Johnson, the rally served as a refutation of the demagogue’s recent barrage of executive orders.
“We stand in solidarity with every immigrant, asylum seeker, refugee and every person impacted by Donald Trump’s illegal, immoral, unconstitutional and unAmerican executive orders. We will speak out against Trump’s selection of the most anti-LGBT nominees and appointees in modern history,” read the official social media statement supported by more than 60 influential LGBTQ organizations including the LGBT center, GLAAD, and Immigration Equality.
During the march, supporters flooded Christopher Street — steps away from the Stonewall Inn, the Obama-declared national monument where almost 50 years ago the watershed Stonewall riots erupted. The prevailing sentiment this time contrasted with the violence that occurred in 1969. Attendees stood respectfully, well aware of the freedoms granted to them as a result of that first momentous uprising. Echoing a nationwide anti-Trump stance — whether it was Senator Brad Hoylman demanding the President’s tax returns, Executive Director of NYU’s Islamic Center, Imam Khalid Latif condemning the immigration ban, or Olympia Perez, beckoning council members to take immediate action — the anthem of “we resist” was in full force.
“I think it’s important to show to local New Yorkers, Americans, and people around the world that LGBTQ people will not be scared of what this administration could possibly do,” asserted Timothy 31, a National Parks employee.
“I am standing up for immigrants and Muslims because I hope they would stand up for me in the same situation,” professed Paul 52, a physician’s assistant.
When asked why he was in attendance, Yichen, a 36 -year old healthcare consultant from Taiwan, blurted, “I’m here because I’m gay. I’m an immigrant and if I don’t stand up for myself, then no one else will.”
Perhaps most eloquently expressed, 6 year old Thompson conceded, “I’m here because I don’t want that idiot Trump to build that stupid wall!”
With rumors circulating of an impending “religious freedom” executive order that would grant employers the right to discriminate against a LGBTQ employee based on the guise of “religious belief”, the stakes are high to say the least. “We’re going to make sure that the Supreme Court doesn’t turn the clock back!” Corey Johnson defiantly assured the crowd. Proving yet gain that they won’t back down, the Solidarity Rally united LGBTQ supporters in a spirit of togetherness that will undoubtedly combat the ominous days that lie ahead during this administration.