More than 2,000 people marched from Powderhorn Park along E. Lake Street in Minneapolis and back again Saturday afternoon to show support for immigrants and refugees in the face of President Donald Trump’s views and proposals.
The march, organized by the Anti-War Committee and the No More Deportations campaign, featured speeches, chants and signs in both English and Spanish. A number of causes were represented, but the most prominent was support for refugees and immigrants.
“We’re trying to keep the pressure up,” said Misty Rowan with the Anti-War Committee. “We’re not going to let this go. We’re not going to forget.”
The group of marchers stretched at least two blocks, diverting traffic as they moved onto Lake Street, where they walked past several businesses run by immigrants. The crowd, which was peaceful and enjoying the sunny day, included many families and children, who were asked to march in front.
Sabry Wazwaz, with the Anti-War Committee, led the chants from the bed of a pickup truck, including, “This is what democracy looks like!” and “Together we stand, together we fall. Together we say, ‘No ban, no wall!’ ”
The march moved west on Lake Street and turned around after reaching the Midtown Global Market near Chicago Avenue. Minneapolis police helped guide the marchers and redirect traffic.
Community members, passers-by and people working in the Lake Street businesses took video of the march on their smartphones, and many chanted along in support.
Heather Cornwell, who lives in southwest Minneapolis, took her 12-year-old daughter, Wendy, to see the marchers along Lake Street. Cornwell adopted Wendy from Colombia last year, and said she wanted her to see the power of unity.
“It’s exciting to see all the voices coming together,” Cornwell said. “I want her to grow up in a country that is supportive of an immigrant culture.”
The Anti-War Committee helped organize a march on Jan. 31 that drew at least 5,000 people to downtown Minneapolis. The large numbers who came out then led the group to organize Saturday’s march, Rowan said.
“It doesn’t end with protests,” she said. “We want people to help with support work for these families that are being attacked right now.”
Last Saturday, more than 2,000 people marched from downtown Minneapolis to the University of Minnesota in another show of support for immigrants and refugees. Similar demonstrations have taken place across the country since Trump’s inauguration.