Rallying on behalf of immigrants past and present, people assembled yesterday for two events that happened to be held in the same prominent Baltimore space – the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade honoring Irish Americans and “The Maryland Rally Against Bans, Walls, Raids.”
On the north side of the Washington Monument, nearly 200 people came to protest the Trump administration’s revised Executive Order suspending refugee admissions for 120 days and banning entry to people from six majority-Muslim countries.
“Never again,” one man’s sign said. “Welcome immigrants and refugees.”
A diverse group, some wearing yarmulkes, others in hijabs, participated in the event, which was organized by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the immigrant advocacy group CASA and Jews United for Justice (JUFJ).
Also assembling at Mt. Vernon Place were the colorfully dressed participants in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. They sported kilts, shamrock jewelry and kelly-green bowlers. Many waved the green, white and orange “Irish tricolour” flag.
One woman carried a sign meant to highlight the two group’s shared history, referencing anti-Irish sentiment in the U.S. 160 years ago:
Organizer Molly Amster, of Jews United for Justice, said the protesters hadn’t realized they would be cheek-to-cheek with the parade goers.
“We tried to find an alternate location and couldn’t,” Amster said. “In the end, I think it didn’t cause any problems and our event had some messages that could have resonated with theirs.”
Amster said one aspect of the protest that some may have missed was its call to action:
Organizers urged people to call their state lawmakers and support “The Trust Act” (Senate Bill 835/House Bill 1362).
The legislation is modeled after a California law that limits the state’s cooperation with federal deportation authorities.