NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Protests and rallies have erupted across the country in response to President Donald Trump’s executive order restricting travel and immigration for non U.S. citizens from seven predominately Muslim countries.
Locals attended a rally Monday night across from the federal courthouse in downtown Norfolk. Organizers expected at least 500 people to attend the rally.
The groups behind the event are the Hampton Roads Young Democrats and the Virginia Beach Young Democrats.
Organizers say they are standing in support of people affected by President Trump’s executive order restricting immigration and travel from seven countries. Countries included in the ban are Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Syria, Libya, and Somalia.
Tasina Gary, with Hampton Roads Young Democrats, said, “Here in the Hampton Roads area, we do have a lot of Muslim and Islamic families, individuals, college students, and we thought that it would be really, really important to stand behind them and let them know that we care.”
“There was a time as an American where I would walk past that same mosque and I’d be afraid of the people inside of it. Now I’m inside of the mosque and I’m worried about the people on the outside,” said Lisa Suhay.
Trump says the executive order is not a Muslim ban and is not about religion. He says it’s about terror and keeping the country safe.
People at the rally said they believe there is a lot of tension and negativity surrounding the country, and that’s why they wanted to show their support.
“We’re standing with them and we love them,” said Paul Rice, also with the Hampton Roads Young Democrats. “We won’t sit idly by while they’re banned and discriminated against.”
Organizers are urging people to contact local lawmakers to voice their concerns.
There is another solidarity rally planned for 12:15 p.m. Tuesday at the Webb Center on ODU’s campus.