PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A massive demonstration took over Center City Saturday as thousands gathered to protest President Donald Trump’s recent ban on immigrants.
Thousands of protesters gathered at Thomas Paine Plaza for “Sanctuary Everywhere,” a concept that co-organizer Kerri Kennedy describes as communities surrounding and protecting the most vulnerable people in a society.
“‘Sanctuary Everywhere’ is this idea that communities will come together and surround people that need it,” Kennedy said. “So that’s supporting Black Lives Matter, native rights for water, LGBT issues, standing with women, standing with our Muslim brothers and sisters who are banned, and that’s standing with immigrants and refugees who have a right to be here.”
She says this protest is an example of people mobilizing like never before against the values of the new presidential administration.
“The response to the appointees has set historic rates for people calling their Senate offices. So that in itself is a fabulous, wonderful thing,” Kennedy said. “We’ve never seen people outside [Senator Pat] Toomey’s office. That’s miraculous. Let’s keep it up. So we’re here to encourage that action.”
But just how effective are these gatherings?
“We know political mobilization of people influences politicians, it influences people and it works,” Kennedy said. “I mean, you need to have a critical mass and we’re starting to see that build.”
And organization general secretary Shan Cretin says it’s up to protesters to use their privilege to push for what’s right.
“And if we stand up, it doesn’t really matter what executive order gets signed,” Cretin said, “it won’t be able to be implemented.”