Photos: Thousands Protested At LAX To Support Refugees, Denounce Religious Discrimination
Thousands of Angelenos flocked to LAX on Sunday to protest an executive order signed by President Donald Trump to temporarily ban refugees, as well as nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries, from entering the United States.
The demonstration was considerably larger than the previous night's, with KCET estimating that "several thousand" people had shown up. It would be an understatement to say that it was a galvanizing event. In perhaps one of the most poignant moments of the day, protesters cleared space in the center of the rally for a group of Muslim demonstrators to pray:
The massive amount of protesters caused some flight delays, as flight crews and departing passengers were reportedly having difficulty getting to airline terminals. The demonstrations also temporarily blocked the lower level roadway outside Tom Bradley International Terminal. At one point in the evening, police and demonstrators struck up a deal in which the demonstrators would be allowed to alternately block either the upper or lower roadway for 15 minutes each.
According to the L.A. Times, most of the protesters had left by early Monday morning. "Demonstrators have dispersed at LAX," said Los Angeles World Airports spokeswoman Nancy Castles said in an update at 12:30 a.m. "Upper and lower level roadways in the Central Terminal Area are fully open and traffic is flowing normally." Castles also added that two people were arrested during the demonstrations on Sunday for blocking a roadway.
It remains unclear how many travelers were detained, exactly. Immigration attorneys stationed at LAX estimated that, at any given time, approximately 20 people were being held. One source told the Times that 13 people had been detained at Terminal 2 on Saturday night, but they were eventually released as they all had green cards. There had been much confusion about (among other things) whether or not green card holders would be affected by the executive order. On Saturday afternoon, Customs and Border Protection said that green card holders were allowed to fly into the U.S., but that they could be subjected to interrogation upon arrival, according to CNN. However, at least one Iranian national with a green card was deported to Iran via Dubai before a federal judge ordered the man returned to the U.S.
On Saturday night, a federal judge issued an emergency stay to bar deportation of people with visas who landed in the U.S., according to CNBC.
The protest, certainly, was well-documented on social media: