An Emergency Rally Protest was held at Harvard Square in Massachusetts last week in response to the Immigration Ban Executive Order signed an hour earlier at 4:30 P.M. at the Department of Defense. Organized by Harvard Students, the rally was attended not only by students from all across the Boston area, but members of the local community as well.
The message of the rally was in support of immigrants, refugees, gender activists, and in support of “our foreign students and in solidarity, with many social justice and human rights causes that are currently at risk,” as stated on their Facebook event page.
The rally was organized in under four hours on the very same day, and hearing about it from a friend, I decided to play my part in the movement. With a couple of friends from MIT — all of different nationalities, backgrounds, and ages — we headed to Harvard Square, chanted and rallied with our 200 other brothers and sisters, and made plans to continue mobilizing the people in our community to take action. Huddled in a corner trying to stay warm, we called for the rights of our Mexican neighbors, of undocumented immigrants, refugees, Muslims, foreign students, the disabled, the LGBTQ community, and of women.
We rallied and screamed “No Fear, No Hate” when there were any attempts to engage in conflict or break up the rally. There were signs declaring solidarity with various groups and calling for “No Ban, No Wall.” The power of the people was indeed stronger than the people in power.
Huddled in a corner trying to stay warm, we called for the rights of our Mexican neighbors, of undocumented immigrants, refugees, Muslims, foreign students, the disabled, the LGBTQ community, and of women.
Bushra Hamid, a freshmen at Harvard University shared couple of her thoughts on the event: “The only way to combat spurred hate is by standing strong and fighting back through meaningful action and determination to bring about change; that is what yesterday was all about. Not only were chants about love and equality sung among the rally attendees, but action items such as calling your government officials was encouraged. Yesterday, you could be standing next to people you’ve never seen before, but knowing that everyone was committed to the same change you want to see in the government made you feel comfortable, feel strong. Hope and action was felt through the air.”
If you are in the Boston Area and would like to be part of this narrative, Sign up to join the working group for ongoing engagement here.
For now, know your rights. Fight back. Stand strong. Be informed. Be a good ally. It’s the least we can do in these hard times.
Images by Marwa Abdulhai, Bushra Hamid, and Rana Abdelhamid.
For more information and resources, check out Muslim Girl’s Muslim Ban Guidebook.