“Stand in Solidarity” rally attracts residents against Trump

The “Rush Hour Demonstration” was organized by nonprofit Mid-Missouri Peaceworks.

About 40 Columbia residents took to the streets again Wednesday in protest of President Donald Trump’s policies.

The “Stand in Solidarity” rally, coordinated on Facebook by activist group Mid-Missouri Peaceworks, occurred at the intersection of Broadway and Providence Road. Protesters held signs and encouraged motorists to “Honk for Peace,” to which many obliged.

Mid-Missouri Peaceworks describes itself as an “egalitarian, non-profit, grassroots membership organization” that was founded in 1982 and has coordinated many of the recent Columbia protests against Trump, most notably the rally that attracted thousands to Traditions Plaza last week.

According to the group’s Facebook page, the purpose of the protest was “to say ‘No!’ to erecting walls, and instead build bridges.”

“Instead of breaking the cycle of violence, [the administration’s] misguided policies are fueling hatred and violence, making us all more vulnerable in the process. It's time to end the endless war. Join us this Wednesday for peace, justice, mutual support and reconciliation,” they wrote on the Facebook page.

Many protesters expressed anger at President Trump’s entry ban on refugees and citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries, among other policy decisions.

“I think we were all refugees probably at one time or another,” Columbia resident Janice Ritchie said. “Between my daughter and grandkids, I don’t want things going backwards rather than forwards.”

While some in attendance had been to events such as the Women’s March on Washington, others said this was their first time participating in a protest.

Columbia resident Monica Lee brought her young daughter to the rally.

“I want her to learn how to stand up for what she believes in,” Lee said. “I’m not teaching her to hate. I’m teaching her to love, and to share and to help.”

Lee recalled her own experiences as a Korean immigrant and attributed the rise of hate and fear to white Americans who “think this doesn’t affect them.”

“I’m an immigrant myself and I know that 99 percent of people are coming here for good reasons,” Lee said. “Me and my family fought long and hard to be a part of this country, and [Trump’s ban] is really not what America is about.”

Edited by Kyle LaHucik | klahucik@themaneater.com

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