Protesters gathered by the hundreds on an unseasonably warm President’s Day in Philadelphia to vent their anger at executive orders signed so far by President Donald Trump.
Outside Philadelphia City Hall, a slate of speakers outlined the reasons why they opposed Trump’s policy decisions on issues ranging from abortion to climate change to immigration.
“What this president wants is for black and brown people to be detained indefinitely without charge in our city jails on our dime,” said Philadelphia Councilwoman Helen Gym, referring to Trump’s vow to defund sanctuary cities that protect undocumented immigrants. “We’re not gonna do that!”
Also speaking to the crowd was Joey Assali, whose family members were denied entry to the U.S. when they arrived here from Syria in January.
Trump’s blanket ban on immigration from Syria had taken effect hours before the Assalis landed in Philadelphia.
“This anti-Muslim sentiment only serves as propaganda,” said Assali. “If we allow ISIS to continue on their path, and even provide them with their own fear tactics, what will be left of this region in the future if not a larger and more threatening Islamic State?”
Speakers denounced Trump’s approval of several oil pipelines, his vow to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and what they perceived as his refusal to take a stand against police brutality.
Members of the crowd, such as Montgomery County resident Kevin Fitzgerald, griped about other aspects of Trump’s presidency.
“He hasn’t divested himself from his properties,” said Fitzgerald, referring to Trump’s real estate holdings. “He’s causing chaos. [He] divides people.”
Speakers took to the podium for about two hours early in the afternoon, before the crowd marched down Market Street to Independence Hall.
Among the marchers was Terry Baraldi, a “revolting granny who’s madder than hell.”
Baraldi, the grandmother of five, said she worries about how a Trump presidency will affect her family and wanted to express her opposition to the administration.
“It’s not just liberal versus conservative ideology. That’s what keeps America fluid,” said the Lansdowne resident. “This is something much different, and much darker.”