Mayor Greg Fischer held a Rally for American Values at the Muhammad Ali Center’s plaza on Monday, Jan. 30 to support immigrants in response to Donald Trump’s recent executive order that is “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry to the United States.”
“I was at the March because I’m a Muslim and have close and distant relatives who are directly affected by this executive order. I felt like I needed to go out and stand up for what I believe in and represent many people,” Fareed Haidar (11, HSU) said.
“It’s important that folks that are foreign born in our community are welcome here. They are loved like brothers and sisters,” Fischer said.
Ahmaad Edmund, a member of the Ali Center’s Council of Students and a student at Male High School, was one of the many speakers at the rally.
“We have to work together. We have to build together. We have to grow together because we are the United States of America,” Edmund said.
Around 3,000 people signed up for the event on Facebook.
The plaza reached capacity, and the extra people rallied in the street below.
Josh Jean-Marie (class of 2016) was also in attendance at the rally.
“Originally I was planning on not attending because of how many people were going but while I was standing at the rally and taking it all in, I was so proud to see such a massive response from the Louisville community. There were people of all ages, races and cultures. It was a beautiful sight,” Jean-Marie said.
“We needed a much bigger space, and I think this is the community saying that we love immigrants and we need immigrants here,” Mayor Fischer said.
“It was good to see that there were a lot of people in support of equal rights for muslims, refugees and immigrants,” Haidar said.
Ralliers visited booths from organizations that support refugees, such as Kentucky Refugee Ministries and Catholic Charities, after the rally.
“I hope to see more unity within the Louisville community. I want to see more people getting involved in the several refugee organizations that we have. Lastly, I hope that as a community, we will continue to rally and protest when one of our own is not being treated equally,” Jean-Marie said.
Mayor Fischer said that it is important for students “to organize, let elected officials know and to let their friends and families know that we are a country of immigrants.”
“I hope that these rallies and peoples’ voices are heard and not ignored. The Muslim community must also stand up and fight for what is right, which is equality for all people including refugees, immigrants and Muslims,” Haidar said.