Dallas protesters declare refugees welcome, denounce Texas governor
Dallas, TX – About 40 protesters gathered at the Grassy Knoll near downtown here, Nov. 21, to call out Texas Governor Greg Abbott's anti-refugee statements. Abbott recently declared that Texas would not accept Syrian refugees.
Well known local activist Olinka Green addressed the protesters. “This country is made up of refugees,” she said, and “We are not afraid of refugees; we are afraid of Greg Abbott.” Later in her remarks, Green referred to U.S. involvement in the Syrian conflict, funding Syrian rebels and dropping bombs. “Mr. Abbott, the U.S. had a hand in this. The U.S. brought this about. Well guess what? Now you gotta kiss the baby.”
Dan Sullivan, one of the organizers of the protest, placed the lion's share of the blame for the refugee situation on the U.S. “Syria is an example of a U.S. regime change project gone bad,” he said. “The U.S. has funded all kinds of nasty militias that have carried out one massacre after another. They have fueled a war that is less a civil war than a foreign invasion. Syria is badly suffering and Syrians are fleeing the destruction the U.S. has caused. The U.S. has no right to close its doors to these people.”
Sullivan also remarked on the shift in U.S. politics that the refugee situation is causing. “One governor after another has declared they will close their state to refugees, even though legally they have no power to do that. This is political pandering, political posturing. But it's a very dangerous kind of political posturing. In the case of Trump's remarks about identifying badges for Muslims, the comparison to Nazism is hard to avoid.”
The general theme of protester signs was “Refugees welcome,” but other signs included, “Jesus was a refugee,” “U.S. out of Syria,” and “Syrians stay, bigots be gone.” Protesters chanted “No to violence, no to fear, refugees are welcome here.”