From the Women’s March to a Defense of Islamic Detainees

Last month, several members of the AAA-Fund attended the women’s march on Washington.  It was inspiring and heartening to see hundreds of thousands of individuals holding up brightly colored posters, chanting  together for equality, compassion, and tolerance.

As members of the AAPI community, it was especially encouraging to see ourselves represented in the faces of crowd: fathers, mothers, childhood best friends, and college students, all present, all fighting. While the march was not without its flaws, (see Amanda Ong, “Feminism and Me: The Road to Solidarity“) it was in large part inspirational. Sharing ideas across generations, backgrounds, and personal identifications was an exciting moment of unity.  It presented an opportunity for neophyte activists to learn from their experienced peers, and discover ways to create change in their own communities.

Tensions, of course, have increased since the day after the inauguration; however, the response was swift and effective. The generally uplifting energy of the march was quickly subdued when the president announced his executive order, banning immigrants from 7 majority Muslim countries from entering the US. The conviction of those that marched may have been challenged, but across the nation protesters that had promised to stand against injustice fled to airports in support of detained passengers. Impassioned attorneys showed up to represent those affected. By the end of the weekend a federal court blocked the ban. Recent reports indicate that President Trump’s public scorn for the federal courts is endangering the lives of judges who rule against the ban. (See the Fortune magazine article “Trump Attacks on Judiciary Raise Safety Concerns for Judges.“) As new executive orders are issued the AAA-Fund remains ready to protect the civil rights and civil liberties of the AAPI community.

As the past few weeks have shown, the March was truly just the beginning. As marchers proudly chanted on the steps of the Capitol last month, “We will not go away! Welcome to your first day!”

~ Alina Polishuk

Video footage – Aryani Ong

Video editing Christian Hume & Alina Polishuk

Note: The AAA-Fund welcomes a diversity of views and voices. In that spirit, the views expressed in this article are the author's own. Unless an article states that it was written by the AAA-Fund or its Board of Directors, it does not necessarily reflect the views of the AAA-Fund.

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