POUGHKEEPSIE – Hundreds of protesters gathered late Wednesday afternoon in Poughkeepsie to show their displeasure with President Trump’s recent travel ban and his plan to build a wall on the Mexico border.
Billed as the “Mid-Hudson Solidarity March and Rally,” community activists, area college students, and pastors of several local churches gathered in unity and marched from the arterial to the steps of the Mansion Street Post Office with chants of “no ban, no wall, we will always welcome all” to denounce the latest presidential executive orders.
Trump claims his announced ban on travel into the country from seven predominantly Muslim countries is temporary and not aimed at a specific religion.
Reverend Tyler Jones of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Poughkeepsie and president of the Dutchess County Interfaith Council welcomed the large crowd in what he called an exercise of solidarity and welcoming. The crowd of nearly 500 people was told by Reverend Jones that there is a need to recognize that they celebrate difference, with all kinds of neighbors.
“It is our common humanity that we celebrate, not specifying the difference, but delighting that God calls us all to be one, not to be seven or nine or three, but all to be one,” Jones told the rally.
Rev. Masud Ibn Syedulah of Tivoli participated in support of those impacted by the temporary ban.
“I’m here to support people are being under pressure, our Muslim brothers and sisters and other people who are subject to the new immigration laws and the refugees,” Syedulah said.
Reverend Chris Antal, President of the Greater Newburgh Interfaith Council was not present but had prepared an interfaith reading and responsorial that was read by different speakers. According to Antal’s reading, “at this extraordinary time in our nation’s history, we are called to affirm our profound commitment to the fundamental principles of justice, equity, and compassion.” The reading continued by saying “President Trump’s actions constitute a brazen assault on the values of human rights, equality before the law, and the moral integrity of the United States. They directly threaten the lives, safety, and future of innocent families who are literally running for their lives.”
The march was well received with the exception of one employee of a process serving firm with an office on the parade route. The woman was on the steps of her office yelling for the marchers to “get a job” and also hurled a few comments not suitable for print as the marchers went by.