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Airport Protest - Ban and Wall

January 29, 2017
Written January 30+
Dear Diary, Friends, and Families,

Last Tuesday we continued our new political activism and joined some folks from MarchOn.org in a visit to the Fresno offices of Senator Feinstein.  I'm not sure what we expected, but it turned out to be a dozen people, mostly familiar with left-sided political activism, just registering their overall upset with Feinstein's District Director Shelly Abajian.

We entered the fancy Federal Building and were escorted to the fourth floor office where about half of us could squeeze into a small meeting room.  There, individuals spoke up about what was bothering them, broadly centered on displeasure surrounding Donald Trump's choices for Cabinet-level positions.  Ms Abajian listened patiently, but really could offer little more than assurance that Senator Feinstein would get a report of the gathering.

On the way out, the others paused to be interviewed by a TV reporter, but I decided we were not (yet?) enough aligned with the group to be seen publicly with them.  Maybe next time.

On Sunday (29th) we hit the streets again, or more properly hit the Fresno-Yosemite International Airport sidewalk.  A protest of the recent edict on temporarily banning refugees and people from seven predominantly-Muslim countries and been organized and we felt it necessary to join the demonstration.

Rebecca Peerson, the organizer of the march, is an Iraq veteran. Her story was personal and compelling. She said she owed her life to an Iraqi who America made promises to and will now not keep. That message, combined with the message of the local anger over the treatment of Mexico, fueled the crowd of about a thousand people. 

This is my favorite refugee (in the early 1950s) preparing our signs and holding one proudly.

Rebecca the organizer and marchers documenting their service before the march.

March to the airport and speaches on the sidewalk
I wonder what's next in this new part of our life.

John and Marianne


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