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West Michigan protest, ‘Shame on Governor Snyder! Stand with refugees!’

By Tom Burke

Grand Rapids, MI – Twenty people gathered at a busy West Michigan street corner holding signs that read, “Stop war, not refugees!” and “Refugees are welcome here,” featuring an image of the Statue of Liberty. They gathered in response to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s anti-refugee comments.

During rush hour on Nov. 30, drivers honked their horns and gave the thumbs up every time the traffic light changed. Passersby stopped to take a flyer, talk and show support.

The Grand Rapids Anti-War Committee statement read:

“By claiming he will put Syrian refugees ‘on pause,’ Michigan Governor Snyder is not only threatening to violate federal law but also endangering the lives of the existing Syrian refugee population here in Michigan and all Muslims and Arab Americans.

“Thanks to Governor Snyder’s comments last week, Republican governors and presidential candidates across the country are now promoting racism, hatred and bigotry. This creates the conditions for bigots and white supremacists to harass and attack Arab Americans, Muslims and anyone else they decide to target. It reminds us how this country treated Jews fleeing German Nazism, and the disgraceful imprisonment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps.

“We Michiganders will not allow this hatred and bigotry, as this governor attempts to go rogue against federal law, UN Human Rights and common human decency. Syrians are refugees from a civil war provoked by the U.S. State Department, with arms and funding from the U.S. government.

“We invite you to come stand with the refugees and send a message to Governor Snyder. We will demand that Snyder, and all the other racist governors admit refugees, especially from war-torn Syria. If there were no U.S. wars in the Middle East, there would be no refugees.

“Come help us extend a warm Michigan welcome to Syrian refugees!”

#GrandRapidsMI #AntiwarMovement #PeoplesStruggles #Syria #ImmigrantsRights #refugees