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Despite rain, hundreds protest at Miami International Airport

By Cassia Laham

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Hundreds of protesters gathered at noon, Jan. 29, outside of the departing terminals of Miami International Airport to denounce the U.S.’s recent ban on immigrants from countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa. The crowd grew bigger and more militant throughout the afternoon, despite the pouring rain and chilly weather. Signs and activists were dampened but their spirits were not.

As their numbers swelled, the group crossed the street, passed the police line, and made their way to the entrance doors of the terminal. The protesters held homemade signs and banners that read: “Refugees welcome!” “No ban no wall!” and “Stop the witch hunt against Arab and Muslim Americans!”

The crowd was filled with immigrant families and people of all nationalities, ages and religions. Several families brought their children, including many babies in strollers. They chanted for five hours straight and received consistent approving honks from cars going by.

Activists in Miami feel personally connected to the fight against the Trump agenda because of Miami’s reputation as an international city and because recent comments by the mayor of Miami. Mayor Carlos Jimenez ordered the county jails and law enforcement to “fully cooperate” with the federal government’s anti-immigrant policies. This would strip Miami of its current sanctuary city status.

The mayor’s actions prompted the crowd outside of the airport to chant, “Mayor Jimenez shame on you!” Other chants at the event included, “Aqui estamos, y no nos vamos!” and, “No wall, no registry dump white supremacy!”

Across town, protesters also gathered outside of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. These two simultaneous protests marked the fifth day of major protests against the Trump agenda in South Florida since he won the election. More protests against the Republican agenda of war, hate and racism are already planned for the weeks ahead.

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