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  February 10, 2017

Hundreds of Hopkins Students Rally as ACLU-MD Files New Lawsuit Against Muslim Ban

TRNN spoke to organizers and the executive director of the ACLU-MD just before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Trump
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JAISAL NOOR: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jaisal Noor. We're here at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where dozens of students have gathered to protest Trump's Muslim ban.

WOMAN: Many of those who are directly affected by the Executive Order have declined on speaking because of fears for their safety. However, we still hope that these members of our community will step forward during the open mic session, and their stories are valid and crucial.

CROWD: (cheering)

WOMAN: I believe that there's a common belief in humanity that kind of unites us all, and that the only way to really initiate change, is to not rely on governments, but to rely on ourselves, and the power of the people.

MAN: Those are people who have come here from the seven nations affected, from Syria, who come here for the dream of attaining education, of attaining a future. However, because of this recent executive action, and a lot of the other policies that are being put into place, that dream is being denied, and I don't want to see that dream die.

WOMAN: I think that America has been become kind of complacent, status quo... We believe that our ideals are safe, that the American dream will be upheld. And so, this election, this current administration, is kind of a wakeup call that activism should have been something that... should've been at the forefront, even before the Trump Administration. Even though it was, it was not... I think, now more than ever, people are taking action and protesting.

WOMAN: And we file a lawsuit on Tuesday, and it followed a number of other states that have filed, or organizations that have filed lawsuits around the country. But these are all short-term rulings that can disappear, and so we thought it was very important to have a new lawsuit that would make some of the same points, but also others.

So, what I didn't say just now, is that we not only are relying on the constitutional guarantees and the people who are being discriminated against because of those constitutional guarantees, but we are also representing, in our lawsuit, a number of individuals who are desperate to be rejoined with their families. But either can't get out –- they can get out but then they fear that they can't get back in -- or the families are afraid to try to come. And so, that's, I think, maybe unique to this lawsuit, and a very important thing, and I was happy to hear that expressed today.

WOMAN: Well, it's been pretty clear –- I think we've seen already that the people taking to the streets, and to the airports, and to places all over the country, where there is a public spirit that opposes this unconstitutional behavior on the behalf of the President. That's made a huge difference I'm convinced, you know, that we're all standing together.

And as I said just a minute ago, I think that the judge has written his papers, and I think they can't help but see that there's a lot of citizen support for this. Now, they're not popularly elected, most of the federal court judges are appointed. But nevertheless, I think it's important for them to see people take to the streets and –- in a peaceful way -- take to the streets, and take to rallies like this, and impress upon those of us who live in the U.S., that it's very, very important.

MAN: There's an attack on the Muslim community right now that I think everybody needs to address. I think it should not be their fight. I think it should be everybody's fight, which we watch... you know, people watch. There's black people dying in this country, and then, you know, we continue to watch. Transgender, black people, gay, fat, and until we start standing together, it's not going to go away.

So, I'm here because I believe that it's important for all of us to fight, with each other like human beings, and not just around particular issues. But we need to fight where tyranny exists, we need to fight and make sure that that tyranny goes away. So, I'm here for that. I'm here to represent them here, because people deserve to have rights. They deserve to have human rights that they don't have right now.

And I'm concerned. I'm concerned that if this continues, that more and more it will happen. That something like this, I think, will lead to at least the potential for things like internment camps will happen. Or, things that happened after the Patriot Act went into effect, where people were getting locked up, or put on lists, because they would fit into a certain group.

And I think it's ridiculous for the rest of us to stand around and wait until that happens. We've got to jump on these things before they get a whole bunch of steam. If they get a whole bunch of steam, then it makes it much more difficult to stop these things, once they get started.




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