Rally protests racism and discrimination

Published February 7, 2017

“No ban, no wall. Immigrants are welcomed here.”

“No hate, no fear. Immigrants are welcomed here.”

The words were just words. The meaning in the chants heard at Tuesday’s Cal State Against Hate demonstration, however, extended beyond the grassy area of the Speakers Platform. The day of action, organized by the statewide Muslim Students Association, was a chance for students to come together and voice opposition over President Trump and his stance on various issues and policies.

“We are not demanding civil rights. We are demanding human rights,” said La Raza’s Asia Gonzalez, a second-year political science major.

The small gathering of roughly 150 students, faculty and staff heard from many students, representing many facets of the campus. The rally was intended to focus on Muslims, the undocumented, indigenous communities, Jews, African-Americans, LGBTQA+, the impoverished, women, immigrants and refugees.

“Ultimately, this is our protest to call for intersectionality in terms of repelling and being vocal in opposition to the president,” said Yasmeen Azam, president of the CSULB Muslim Students Association.

“It’s more than just the Muslim ban. It’s more than just the travel ban. It’s more than the immigration ban. We obviously have to zoom out and care about all the marginalized communities that are being targeted by the administration.”

A travel ban on Muslims from seven countries, coupled with Trump’s plan to deport undocumented, build a wall and Vice President Mike Pence’s stance on gay conversion therapy were the impetus of the gathering.

“Justice extends beyond color. Justice extends beyond faith,” said student Bilal Zaheen. Zaheen said he was touched by the overwhelming number of non-Muslims who joined Muslims at the recent protests at Los Angeles International airport.

“We need to use knowledge to make a positive impact before leaving this university,” Zaheen said.