Only a week after the historic Women’s Marches nationwide, including a 60,000-strong gathering in downtown Atlanta, protesters were out in force once again rallying against President Trump’s immigration ban. I went to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to join in the protest and broadcast the event live for Better Georgia.
I had a chance to speak with several of the protesters at the rally, which was was said to swell past 5,000 at its peak. One protester told me she was supporting immigrants and refugees because “love is stronger than fear.” Another told me that she was an immigrant herself and was completely opposed to President Trump and his policies.
Like last week’s march, the sheer size and energy of the crowd was staggering. Students, families and Georgians from all walks of life packed onto the sidewalk in front of the airport’s south terminal, cheering loudly whenever a passing car honked in solidarity, but also parting wide for any airline passengers making their way through the crowd with luggage in tow.
In his inauguration speech, President Trump pledged to unite the country. In Georgia, at least, he’s well on his way to doing that: bringing together thousands of Americans in direct opposition to his extremist agenda, many of whom have never before joined in chants or held up a protest sign.
As I headed back up to the train, a MARTA employee with a megaphone directed attendees to the platform and added her own P.S. to the day’s message: a personal thank you to protesters for exercising their First Amendment rights.