Hundreds gathered at Fresno Yosemite International Airport Sunday night, protesting President Donald Trump’s executive order restricting travel from seven countries. The crowd argued that only Muslim countries were targeted. Some also questioned why some countries that Trump has business interests with, namely Saudi Arabia, was excluded.
The protesters gathered at McKinley & Peach in front of the airport, before marching on the sidewalk in front of the main terminal. The sidewalk was not enough for the throng, as they spilled out into the street. Police acted only to make sure cars passing by had at least one lane available. Protesters heeded any warning to get out of the way when approached by a uniformed officer.
Rebecca Peerson organized the rally. Using a megaphone, she chastised Trump for persecuting people on the basis of religion. “It will not happen here!” she shouted.
“(Trump’s) goal is to show everyone that with the power of the pen, this is what (he) can do. With the power of love, this is what we can do,” Peerson told GV Wire, referring to the crowd.
Other speakers including a Yemeni man and Mark McAfee, CEO of Organic Pastures dairy. “We’ve got friends in Iran right now who can’t get home on their green card. We are feeling this very personally.”
Fresno councilwoman Esmeralda Soria was also spotted in the crowd, chanting “no ban, no wall.” She hopes her colleagues and Mayor Lee Brand hear the message.
Reza Nekumanesh, director of the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno, wondered why Saudi Arabia was not on the list. “Saudi Arabia has produced more terrorism through their ideology than any other country.”
Peerson thinks it might have to do with Trump’s business interests in Saudi Arabia.
After about 90 minutes in front of the terminal, the marchers moved back to McKinley & Peach.