No Ban No Wall rally in Blacksburg fights recent executive order

Published: Jan. 31, 2017 at 12:06 AM EST
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As protests continue around the country following President Trump's recent refugee ban executive order, groups are showing their support to immigrants in our hometowns.

Hundreds were in Downtown Blacksburg Monday afternoon making their voice heard.

Henderson Lawn was filled with people born both in Virginia and overseas showing their displeasure with President Trump's order.

Six hundred responded to an online invite to the No Ban, No Wall rally in Blacksburg. At least that many showed up, if not even more.

Margaret Breslau, the Chair of the Coalition for Justice said, "If you look at this crowd, it's young people, it's old people, it's students, it's community. We're a university community but really it's just touched everybody."

The Coalition for Justice was joined in hosting the rally by TechDREAMers, United Feminist Movement, Muslim Student Association (VT), USAS, and Young Democratic Socialists.

Blacksburg natives said they've always seen an immigrant population, and they want that to continue.

Franklin Harrison said, "It's just important for me to raise my voice about something that is corrupt and terrible. I've lived in Blacksburg since I was in 2nd grade and Blacksburg has always had a very vibrant international community."

He went onto say, "I've always only seen the positives of people from all over the world coming here, including Muslims, including immigrants, including refugees."

Parents even brought their children and a few pets to show how important this is to everyone. But possibly more so to those at the rally who's families came to Virginia from one of the countries President Trump is trying to ban, or moved here themselves.

Javed Memon who lives in Blacksburg explained, "I'm the child of immigrants, so is my wife, and this right here is the granddaughter of immigrants. We feel like we're under attack, we're feeling unsafe in our own space in our own country where we were born and raised."

Craig County resident Christian Jensen said, "My wife being from Iran, I wanted to let her know that this is a nation that is full of love. This is not the America I grew with, I don't join protests. But now is the time to say something."

His wife Roya Jensen added, "I was undocumented once and I feel really proud of these people, especially in Virginia, I was not expecting [that]."

The rally lasted about an hour.

Throughout people would drive by honking in support. But there were also people yelling from their cars in support of President Trump or saying "build the wall."