St. Louis-Lambert International Airport One of Many with Protests
Following a controversial executive order signed by President Trump, thousands of Americans, immigrants, and refugees across the United States participated in protests at the Nation’s airports. These protests come just a day after it was announced that United States Customs and Border Protection had detained hundreds (possibly thousands) of immigrants and green card holders nationwide at major airports. President Trump’s executive order regarding immigration and refugees from seven majority Muslim countries lead to those immigrants and green card holders to be detained.
Protests standing against the President’s so-called “Muslim Ban” began on Saturday night with protests at New York-JFK’s Terminal 4, Washington-Dulles’ International Arrivals Hall, and Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport’s Terminal D. On Saturday night, those against that immigrant and refugee ban quickly organized protests across the Nation’s airport scheduled for Sunday.
Anti-immigrant and anti-refugee ban protests spread from coast-to-coast. Following a successful show of support on Saturday night in New York, Dallas, and Washington DC, organizers successfully rallied supporters together for a second day of protests.
Throughout the day Sunday, protests had taken place in the following cities;
|Los Angeles, CA|
|San Diego, CA|
|Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky, OH|
|Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN|
|Kansas City, MO|
|St. Louis, MO|
|New York-JFK, NY|
Overall Peaceful Protests at Airports
Thousands of protesters converged on the airports listed above. Some airports were overwhelmed by the amount of protesters and considered limiting the number of protesters allowed at the airport. However, airports ditched the idea of doing this after push back from the ACLU.
Alt-Right publisher Breitbart claimed that the airport protests were disrupting operations and keeping passengers from making flights. However, as of Tuesday the 31st, there has not been one reported case of protesters impacting airside operations. Airports handled the demonstrations appropriately and ensured normal operations.
St. Louis-Lambert Airport One of Many with Protests
One example of these peaceful yet fairly large protests was St. Louis-Lambert International Airport. At around noon on Sunday, a small group of demonstrators organized near the airport’s Terminal 1 on the Departures level. By 1 PM, the protest was growing with hundreds arriving by car and by light rail. By 2 PM, nearly 1,000 protesters converged in front of Terminal 1 with signs and chants.
According to Airport Public Relations Director, Jeff Lea, the airport had been in constant contact with the group organizing the protest. Originally, as was the case at airports throughout the Nation, only a handful of protesters were expected. However, even though the number of demonstrators was much larger, the Airport and Airport Police allowed the demonstration to continue. Both protesters and authorities handled the demonstration professionally and peacefully.
Rather you agree or disagree with the demonstrators; I found these airport protests to be a unique and touching show of support for their cause. Protest organizers and airport officials across the Nation worked to ensure the safety of all parties involved. Operations were not strained, and few arrests were made. It is unclear whether or not organizers plan to demonstrate over the upcoming weekend.