Wednesday, February 01, 2017

SFO Protest of Trump's Immigration Ban - January 29, 2017

I marched on down (BART'd on down, actually) to San Francisco International Airport on Sunday the 29th, for the second day of protesting of our big-baby bossman's insane, gutless, confusing and Constitutionally illegal immigration ban. I had my video- and still-cameras in tow and I went alone with no signage or motive other than to capture the day's events. I'm so glad I did. It was a wondrous occurrence, completely organic and happening in the moment.

I filmed my journey throughout the long, cavernous International Terminal, filled to capacity with demonstrators, musicians, dancers, sign-makers and impromptu free-snack-bar volunteers (with donated snacks, sandwiches and water). My heart filled with gratitude and wonder at the kindness, passion and focus on display.

Since then, I've been recommending these videos to my friends who are fatigued and fighting despair on a daily basis since Trump started signing his ridiculous and dangerous dictatorial edicts. Currently it looks like a coup is taking place within our Federal government. I'm hoping the Democrats will rise to the occasion but they've been noble and polite (and in many cases complicit and lazy) for so long. Is it too little too late? This has happened before across the world. Are we equipped to deal with amoral sociopaths who use loopholes to get their way throughout their careers?

I cite our shameful history when the Federal and State governments were complicit in incarcerating thousands of legal citizens of Japanese ancestry to bleak internment camps in the California deserts during World War II, at a moment when we should have, as a nation, stood up and protested.

This is no different. This is a religious ban that goes directly against the First Amendment and will not lead to our safety. This is an arbitrary list drafted to appease the far right, that doesn't include a single Muslim-majority country that's housed a terrorist who's targeted our country. It's also a list of seven countries that the corrupt fear-monger in office has no financial ties with, unlike Saudi Arabia, where he has business interests—Saudi Arabia is not on the list.

I hope these images and sounds will raise your spirits.

SFO Protest Anti-Immigration-Ban Marching Band:

Anyone involved with this marvelous band, please get in touch with me so I can credit them. They were fabulous musically and riveting to watch. The "extended-cut" version follows the length of the concourse from the BART entrance to the end and back again. Two marching-band performances, lots of chanting, Sufi dancer, lovely humanity. Rated: very uplifting.

Some images from the day. It's surreal and amazing to protest in a huge international airport while police stand gamely by, cordoning off the domestic terminal and letting the people have their say. SFO airport personnel were polite. They smiled as they answered my questions about the day's events. According to The East Bay Times, five travelers entering the U.S. had been detained this weekend and the last one was released from the airport on Sunday afternoon.

The presidential order was signed on Friday and TSA officials weren't clear on how to enforce this hastily drafted shock-tactic document. We need to get it together and fast. Our standing as, "Land of the free, home of the brave," is quickly heading toward, "Land of chaos, home of the corrupt."

UPDATE, February 3, 2017: "Judge in Seattle halts Trump’s immigration order nationwide" - from The Seattle Times:
"In a 19-page complaint, Ferguson alleged Trump’s executive order violates constitutional guarantees of religious freedom and equal protection. The state of Minnesota has joined as a plaintiff, while attorneys general in several other states have also taken legal action against the controversial ban.

Ferguson’s lawsuit includes quotes by Trump during his presidential campaign, including his original pledge for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” The lawsuit alleges are evidence that the order was “motivated by animus and a desire to harm a particular group.” - (Jim Brunner, Jessica Lee and David Gutman)

UPDATE 2, February 9, 2017: "Appeals Court Rejects Bid To Reinstate Trump's Travel Ban"

From Robert Reich's Facebook page:
In a unanimous, 29-page opinion, three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit flatly rejected Trump’s claim that his travel ban should be resumed immediately because of national security -- and that a president’s decisions about national security cannot be reviewed by the courts.

Trump’s almost immediate response was to tweet: “SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!”

 As usual, it’s not clear whether Trump is a knave or a fool.

 1. “See you in court” makes no sense. After all, it’s the court that made this decision. If Trump is referring to the Supreme Court, he’s got two problems. First, the Supreme Court may not agree to hear the case. Rarely if ever does the Supreme Court review a lower court decision to temporarily stay a law or executive order. Second, even if the Court does hear the case, it’s likely to split 4 to 4 on it – keeping the court of appeals decision in place.

 2. Trump doesn’t seem to understand the appeals court decision. It wasn’t that Trump isn’t allowed to keep the nation secure. Of course he is. The Constitution gives a president that power as commander-in-chief. It’s that he can’t do it immediately, without a thorough judicial review of whether he’s also trampling on other constitutional rights – such as the First Amendment’s ban on establishing a religion or prohibiting its free exercise.

I include this meme, which might come in handy over the next few years. Use it freely.

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