On January 29 President Donald Trump released executive orders to limit refugees and immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S. Thousands of Atlanta protestors gathered at the Domestic terminal inside Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport before they were escorted outside of the airport by police. The election of President Trump stimulated a wide range of controversy initially, and his installment of this ban within his first 100 days of office enraged many Atlanta citizens. Fulton County Chairman John Eaves said in a statement, “I staunchly denounce the President’s ban on refugees seeking to come to the United States. Fulton County’s strength is in its diversity and we pride ourselves on welcoming all citizens, including immigrants.” Along with the Atlanta protestors, a group of Walker’s own students decided to attend the rally.
Senior Deb Kemp says she decided to protest because, she “was really tired of just sitting at home complaining about politics… [she’d] done the whole ‘call your congressman’ thing and signed petitions to try to protect people, but [she] just felt like [she] wasn’t doing enough to really show her solidarity with the people affected by the orders.” Kemp explains that her decision to attend the rally was influenced by her friend, senior Meghan Dresdner. Dresdner attended the protest with her entire family, and their motivation to protest was due to social media’s depictions on stories about “people who were detained at airports all over the country,” and how they were “unjustly” separated from their families. While emotions were high for the protestors, our sources describe the rally as an extremely uplifting, powerful experience.
Junior Riya Vashi describes the overall feeling at the protest as “positive,” and that she felt “so joyful being around so many people who wanted to fight for something we all strongly believe in.” Deb Kemp adds that “very peaceful demonstrations” took place, and the police were nothing but “kind and helpful.” The women add that the crowd ranged from 6 year olds to elderly people, including a variety of people from different races and ethnicities. Vashi adds that they met refugees and other people who were personally affected by the ban. All three women agree that they definitely plan on attending more protests in the future. Vashi says that it is “such a good feeling” to take action and fight for what you believe is right rather than just “watch the news and discuss it at home.” Kemp adds, “I’ll be out every weekend if he keeps coming for people. I think it’s important and necessary- plus it’s a right and privilege of living in this country! Dissent is patriotic!”