When an Iranian student was asked about the 100-plus crowd that gathered on a chilly Wednesday night at K-State’s Bosco Student Plaza in a showing of solidarity against the immigration ban imposed by the executive order of President Donald Trump, she pointed to her American friends.
“I love them, I really appreciate it,” she said. “This is real America, I think.”
She, like approximately 63 other K-State students, is from one of the seven countries included in the Trump administration’s immigration ban that bars individuals from those nations entering the United States.
“It’s terrible,” she said. “From the day they announced this thing, everything got terrible overnight. I’m just a Ph. D student here in the statistics department. I’ve been teaching American students and I love them. I love all of my students.
“I just don’t get it. I don’t understand. I’m not a terrorist, you know? I’m just a simple student here.”
The peaceful protest included various chants that included “K-State won’t hate!”, “No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here!”, and “Black Lives Matter!” There was a diversity of speakers — some planned by protest organizers and some who volunteered to speak — and the crowd eventually moved to the entrance of the university at Mid-Campus Drive facing Anderson Avenue before it moved again to hear noted activist Angela Davis speak inside the K-State Student Union.
Political activism and voting were encouraged by speakers, as well as the urgency to fight against racism and bigotry in the Little Apple. One speaker — a representative from K-State’s Muslim Students Association — thanked the crowd for its support and echoed calls for unity. Another speaker decried the confirmation of former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.
One international student said “family” was all he heard about K-State before coming to Manhattan. He told the crowd he felt included in the K-State family and was proud to be a Wildcat.
A flyer for the protest that was circulated on social media earlier during the day called the protest the “MHK Solidarity Rally” and included the hashtag #NoWallNoBan.
“It’s just, I can’t believe this is happening to me,” the Iranian woman, who KMAN has chosen not to identify, said. “I have very good friends. See them? They’re my lovely friends. They are American. I can’t believe this is happening to me. Some people are supporting this decision. I just can’t believe it.”
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Source: KMAN Local News