Spontaneous protests at LAX as ban on travelers from seven Muslim countries leads to detentions of travelers
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Students flying back to LAX from semester break Sunday arrived to see thousands of protesters gathered there in opposition to President Trump’s ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries.
Protests against the ban, which had been announced the evening before, started at mid-morning inside the Bradley International Terminal with a group of about 100 people. At 11 a.m, traffic was not blocked and protesters were not blocking any doors out of the terminal.
By the time sophomore Bailey Mendelson arrived from Florida at about 3:30 p.m., the number of protesters carrying hand-made signs had swelled, and crowds were moving up and down the corridors and sidewalks between the buildings. Bailey said when she was there protesters were walking in front of Terminal Four, the American Airlines area, just south of the Bradley building.
“I just got the chills… I agree with them,” said Bailey, though she did not join in the protesting. “Anybody should be welcome into this country. I just thought that it was really amazing that people were not just standing by, but actually trying to do something to help.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, there were so many protesters in front of Bradley International Terminal that the roads in front of it had to close for 10 minutes at a time in each direction.
Junior Naomi Bijou was also at LAX yesterday at around 3:30, coming back from Lake Tahoe.
“At first I thought it was annoying and not ideal,” said Naomi. “But then after I realized it’s our right as Americans to protest and I can see why these people are doing it and it was great to see how people are so passionate about politics and our democracy.
“I personally think President Trump is doing this for the good and not for any racial or impractical reasons,” she said, “but I also find it to be unconstitutional to ban Muslims from coming into our country even if it is for safety reasons.”
Naomi said that the protesting blocked traffic, delaying her by about 15 minutes getting out of the airport.
Several lawyers at the protest held up signs saying they would give free legal help to anyone affected by the ban.
The Times also said officials had detained at least 100 people at LAX, but that government and airport officials had not said how many and approximating was difficult.
“We think the Muslim ban is unconstitutional,” said Peter Enzminger who protested holding up a sign that said, “No ban” and “No wall.”
“They’ve already been vetted by the appropriate government agencies, so there is no reason stop green card holders or people with visas.”
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said Sunday night that green card holders could stay, but procedures were still unclear on Sunday and no one could be sure they had been released, since officials did not announce who was being held.
President Trump’s executive order, according to the New York Times, bars refugees from around the world, specifically Syria, and halts immigration for four months from seven Muslim-majority countries: Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen. The ban is permanent on Syria.
It also ordered that refugees who are Christian or members of other religious minorities in Muslim countries be given priority over Muslim refugees.
Protesters outside also chanted cheers such as “Let them stay” and “Say it loud, say it clear, immigrants are welcome here.”
Another protester, Eva Luc, said that she was protesting because of a personal connection to this controversial ban, as well as believing that it is unconstitutional.
“My parents immigrant refugees from Vietnam,” said Eva, who was interviewed by the Boiling Point outside the Bradley Terminal. “They came about three decades ago, so this is very personal for me. Everyone should be welcome here to find a better life and there are people who have already made their living here and are on their way to becoming citizens, so this is absolutely unconstitutional and illegal.”
Other posters read, “Wanna fight religious extremism? Impeach trump,” “No Muslim Ban!” “Deport Trump,” and “God is Love — No Ban.”