On Tuesday January 31, the Carolina Peace Resource Center held a United We Stand: Immigrants and Refugees Welcome Rally at the South Carolina State House. The rally was a protest against the executive orders signed by President Trump that curtail refugee resettlement and indefinitely suspended resettlement of refugees from Syria as well as instituting a travel ban from seven nations into the United States.
Close to a thousand people attended the protest, forming an expansive sign line across the State House grounds. Carolina Peace provided materials for protesters to craft their own signs, and the finished products combined with signs brought by other attendees to make a visually stunning show of support for immigrants and refugees.
Carolina Peace President David Matos led the crowd in cheers that welcomed immigrants and refugees. After his initial remarks, the protesters lined Gervais St. to chant and hold signs for nearly two hours.
Local voices for peace attended the march, such as poet Nikky Finney, pictured above. The crowd made an impressive sight to passersby and vehicles driving by the State House.
As the sun began to set, the crowd relocated to the grounds in front of the State House grounds to listen to several informational speakers including a representative from the American Civil Liberties Union and Omari Fox from Simple Justice: Black Lives Matter.
The crowd continued to rally and cheer on the grounds and the overall mood was one of goodwill and acceptance. Several local press sources covered the event. Below are links to articles about the event:
Overall, the event was an exciting show of support for immigrants and refugees and an inspiring event for Carolina Peace. We are grateful for the outpouring of support that was shown and are excited to see what we can accomplish together in the future.