March to show solidarity among those who feel marginalized by bans, wall

Analicia Haynes, Online Editor

In response to the recent immigration ban and plans to build a wall dividing Mexico and the United States, the College Democrats will host a march to stand in solidarity with international students and others who feel unwelcome because of President Donald Trump’s actions since taking office.

The march will kick off 4 p.m. Thursday in front of the Doudna Steps, with several speakers from different backgrounds presenting their story as a result of the recent ban and the proposed wall.

Intended to raise awareness of what is ethically right and show support for students who may feel marginalized, Frida Arellano, the president of the College Democrats and Sam Reiss, the organization’s treasurer, said the march is a product of grassroots activists.

“We’re political science students, we’re all aware and it would be shameful if we stayed quiet and just kind of whine about it and not do anything about it,” Arellano said. “Rallies and marches are the opposite of whining.”

Also a way to show others there are students at Eastern who will not judge them, Arellano said the idea for the march came from others that were carried out across the nation over the past few weeks.

She said the organizers were not inspired by one particular march. Instead, they were encouraged to show their support by watching many of them.

“What we are starting here as grassroots activists is raising awareness…this will add to the number of people already standing up for what is right,” Arellano said.

Although Trump’s immigration order was blocked by U.S. District Judge James Robart on Friday, Arellano said the march will still raise awareness and bring attention to students and community members standing up for what is right.

“The fight isn’t over, it’s still going through the courts,” Reiss said. “Even if there isn’t a ban, the rhetoric is still there, the divisiveness is still there.”

Arellano said by raising awareness with issues such as this, the momentum starts to give way to other issues such as the continuing budget crisis.

“These marches or these ‘rallies’ as people call them, making them sound so radical, these make a difference,” she said. “If it makes a difference for an issue that doesn’t apply to us (immediately), it does apply to the whole concept of standing up for what’s right. It should not be seen as something negative.”

Reiss said this time members decided to put actions behind their words.

“All social change that has happened in our country has been through movements like this,” Reiss said. “You have to get out there and have your voice be heard and protesting and these types of demonstration- that’s the way you do it, that’s the way you pressure your politicians.”

The march will come a day after a non-partisan panel of professors from different areas will inform those in attendance about the recent executive orders and calls Trump has made.

Arellano and Reiss said those march can bring their own posters and signs or can create ones 5 p.m. Tuesday in room 2140 of Coleman Hall.

The signs and posters will be placed in front of Old Main after the march.

“All movements start small,” Arellano said. “We just want to let them know not to ever feel intimidated or afraid of expressing their opinions or expressing themselves overall. It shouldn’t be shameful to protest during a rally.”


Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]