“No ban! No wall!,” chanted hundreds of protestors that gathered in Janesville on Saturday. The purpose was to rally against President Trump’s Executive Order on immigration.
“These are people that are part of our community, and the ‘us vs. them’ thinking that President Trump is engaging in is un-Christian, un-American, and inappropriate,” said Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson, of The Unitarian Universalist Church in Rockford.
Many came from all over the Stateline to protest Speaker Paul Ryan’s defense of President Trump’s decision.
“We are telling Speaker Ryan, the Speaker Of The House, that we do not want a ban on anyone on the basis of their religion or their ethnicity from coming into the country. We do not want a wall that would separate us from our neighbors and divide us when we need to come together,” Johnson added.
Loves Park resident Frank Perrecone also felt it necessary to drive to Janesville to have his voice heard.
“When people mobilize, representatives and senators hear their voice, so that’s why we’re out here and that’s why this huge crowd is out here,” said Perrecone.
“It’s surprising, in the sense that this started as an email between eight people last Sunday afternoon. Then, here we are six days later, and over a thousand people came to be together and express solidarity together,” said protest organizer John McMahon.
Protestors said their purpose was not only to speak out, but encourage further action by working together.
“It also means coming out and forming new alliances and new coalitions, and working together and enacting democracy among all of us in the street together, in the park together, with these speakers, and with one another,” added McMahon.
“The stranger is my neighbor, and people here feel the same way. We’re not going to back down and we’re not going to be quiet,” said Johnson.