March Against injustice
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In light of President Trump’s recent travel ban imposed against seven Muslim-majority countries, the Muslim Student Association and the Gamma Nu chapter of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Incorporated, with support from other organizations, hosted a march for the UT community. Students and members of the community gathered in front of the Lancelot Thompson Student Union on Monday, Jan. 30 to protest the ban and stand in support of their fellow community members.
Hedyeh Elahinia, co-president of the MSA, was inspired by the impact that protests occurring across the country had on judges’ rulings regarding detainees.
“So here at UT, similarly on a smaller scale, we wanted to show our support for our international students,” said Elahinia, a second-year biology major. “UT has a sizeable international student population, be they American-born or otherwise, and we wanted just to show our solidarity with them.”
Hundreds of people were present for the march, armed with provocative signs and an infectious energy. The march commenced at 4 p.m., which consisted of the crowd walking while chanting slogans in support of immigrants. The march route went from the Student Union to Barnes and Noble in the Gateway Plaza, then along Secor and Bancroft Street, and came to an end back at the Union.
Jack Thomas, a community member and son of immigrants from Germany and Ireland, said he was a staunch supporter of the cause. His sign read, “Build a wall around Trump. I’ll pay for it.”
“My parents are immigrants, and everybody in America is an immigrant, except for Native Americans,” Thomas said. “So I’m really supportive of that. If it wasn’t for immigrants, nobody would be here today.”
The march was preceded by a short rally where five speakers touched on the issues. These speakers included Amal Mohammed, president of student government, as well as Jen Thurau from the Toledo Area Progressives and Keith Boggs, a 3-year media communication student who represented Iota Phi Fraternity Inc. and Student African American Brotherhood.
“We will not accept the hatred that is apparent in the Trump administration,” said Querino Espino, a fourth-year economics major. “And we will do everything we can to fight these executive orders and these actions that are so against what we stand for as people, as Americans.”
Elahinia explained that the event was hurriedly organized over the weekend, with Facebook primarily being used to spread the message to the community. Considering the late notice, the outcome of the event had been unprecedented.
“It’s a show of support and solidarity,” Elahinia said. “And to send a message to our community to our school, to our city, to our country that we stand with each other, not against each other.”