Signs of Defiance: March Against the Muslim Ban

By Robert Cocanougher / Editor-in-Chief

Haley Greco / Contributing Photographer

Yesterday afternoon I took part in the March Against the Muslim Ban, hosted by FSU Students for Justice in Palestine. A multitude of student and community organizations helped organize and sponsor the event, including Women’s March Tallahassee, Students Organize for Syria at FSU, FSU Students for a Democratic Society, FSU’s Iranian Student Association and Muslim Student Association, the International Rescue Committee (a committee that helps with refugee relocation) and more. Representatives from Amnesty International, the Islamic Center of Tallahassee, multiple Jewish organizations (including www.weveseenthisbefore.org) and the NAACP were also present. It was a massive cooperation between various organizations, students, and community members of all races and backgrounds showing out to fight President Trump’s recent executive order to bar Muslims from entering the country. I’ve taken part in at least three marches to the Capitol since the year began, and this was the largest. And notably, the only one where I haven’t seen any Trump-supporting anti-protesters telling me to “get over it.” I’m no good at estimating attendance, so I’ll borrow some language from our current president and just say: it was yuge.

The protest included chanting, marching, and various people speaking out against the issue. I could lay them out for you, but I want to let these pictures do most of the talking. What I’ve got are some various highlights from the march, and at the end a slideshow of some of the best signs that I saw at the protest – some funny and others blunt and critical. But without further ado…

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The march started in Oglesby Union. People began gathering there about 12:30, and moved out about 20 minutes later. Here is just one segment of the line of protesters passing by Strozier Library.

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The next stop was at Westcott Fountain. It should be noted that people were still cramming in at the time that this picture was taken.

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A speaker from the Islamic Center of Tallahassee takes to the steps of Westcott to dismantle myths about Muslims in America and to say that we protesters share a common goal with Trump: to make America great. Granted, we have very different methods of going about doing so.

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Protesters stream down Copeland.

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Capitol Building in sight.

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An organizer of the event marches down the street holding a Palestenian flag.

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Arriving on the green of the Capitol.

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The crowd at the steps.

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The stage is set. Photo credit: Haley Greco

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The first speaker at the Capitol, Imam Amro AbduAllah of the Islamic Center of Tallahassee gives a funny and passionate speech about misunderstandings and having compassion towards one another. Photo Credit: Haley Greco

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“Place of birth and national status cannot determine whether a soul is treated as a person.” – Dr. Will Hanley

Dr. Will Hanley, a history professor in FSU’s Middle Eastern Studies department, takes to the steps of the Capitol. He stated that he used to think that the political voice of Florida State students was fairly silent, but that he would say that no more.

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Fists raised in defiance.

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A man listens to the speakers with his daughter, holding a sign that she wrote herself.

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A member of the organizing group, FSU Students for Justice in Palestine, was out of breath from leading chants all day. Despite this, he called on us to not stop fighting, and turned the protest toward the street in order to show the people of Tallahassee what we are about.

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Power to the people. Photo Credit: Haley Greco

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A picture taken from the second floor of the Capitol building. These protesters were still chanting, more than three hours after the march began.

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The protest continues.

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A good closing image, I feel. Photo Credit: Haley Greco

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Following this is a slideshow of some of the better signs I saw at the protest. I could not capture them all, and there were a slew of clever and striking signs all over the place. But here’s what I’ve got. If you’ve got any more to share, please do!

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First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

– Martin Niemöller

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