Thousands protest president's travel ban at Bradley Airport, Yale University and Hartford Cathedral


Between 1,000 to 1,500 people gathered at a Connecticut airport on Sunday afternoon to rally against the president's recent executive order.

The CAIR Connecticut organization held a protest inside the baggage claim area at Bradley International Airport around 1:30 p.m.

The Connecticut protest is similar to ones being held throughout the country. The protests come after President Donald Trump's executive order immediately banned some immigrants from the United States.

The executive order bans all immigrants from the Muslim-majority countries of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen . In total, that is 130 million people from those countries.

"We thought that this executive order was discriminatory and racist," Farhan Memon, who is the chairperson for AIR, said. "And we felt we had to come out in protesting it."

At Bradley, people of all faiths joined together and chanted. Memon said he was "surprised" by the dozens of people who turned out for the protest.

"I said to myself we should be something here in Connecticut," Memon said. "I'm sure there are many people who are just as upset about this ban in Connecticut as in other states."

July Siebecker drove in from North Hampton, MA with her 8-year-old son to take part in the protest at Bradley.

"It's his country and it needs to stay his country," Siebecker said. "Nobody is too young to stand up and say what's wrong."

State officials said the protest has been peaceful. Airport officials said there were no arrests and state police said they "weren't notified of anything significant during that time period."

People from different backgrounds and faiths came together at Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford for a service on Sunday night. The message was a call to love thy neighbor and act for all Americans.

"We really had a call for love and humanity,” Samia Hussein, who is president of the Muslim Coalition of Connecticut, said.

Hussein said with President Trump's executive order, it’s now more than ever important to stand together.

"With so much rhetoric and hate that's going on and bigotry especially from our president, it's important that we all just come together and remind ourselves that even though their might be bigotry and hate around the world that we are here for one another,” Hussein said.

"We didn't plan it that way, but for those of us who are involved in helping settle, resettle refugees,” event organizer Terry Schmitt said. “This was a particularly important time to come together."

Attorney General George Jepsen and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman were two of the speakers at the protest at Bradley.

Thank you CT for standing up for refugees, immigrants. Incredible turnout at BDL demonstrates our unity & values— Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman (@LGWyman) January 29, 2017

Jepsen said Connecticut joined 16 other states to condemn the recent executive order by president.

"As the chief legal officers for over 131 million Americans and foreign residents of our states, we condemn President Trump's unconstitutional, un-American and unlawful Executive Order and will work together to ensure the federal government obeys the Constitution, respects our history as a nation of immigrants, and does not unlawfully target anyone because of their national origin or faith," 17 attorney generals said in a joint statement on Sunday.

The 17 attorney generals said "religious liberty has been, and always will be, a bedrock principle of our country and no president can change that truth."

"Yesterday, multiple federal courts ordered a stay of the Administration's dangerous Executive Order. We applaud those decisions and will use all of the tools of our offices to fight this unconstitutional order and preserve our nation's national security and core values. We are confident that the Executive Order will ultimately be struck down by the courts. In the meantime, we are committed to working to ensure that as few people as possible suffer from the chaotic situation that it has created," 17 attorney generals said in a joint statement.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy applauded the actions by the protesters at Bradley airport on Sunday "for seeking to give voice to fairness and compassion."

"I also applaud the swift legal action taken yesterday by the American Civil Liberty Union and other advocates on behalf of not just those directly impacted by this order, but on behalf of all Americans. This executive order conflicts with rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, and it must be contested in our courts. As a nation of immigrants, inclusivity and compassion are the hallmarks of who we are. We will not abandon our values. In the face of grave injustice, we will be neither silent nor idle, but stand ready to protect our neighbors and communities," Malloy said in a statement on Sunday.

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