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Yemeni Bodega Owners Strike In Response To Travel Ban

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Yesterday, from 12 to 8pm, Yemeni-American operated bodegas across New York City closed in solidarity against Trump’s 90-day travel ban, proposed last Friday.

According to the New York Times, Trump’s executive order, entitled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” seeks to suspend the issuance of visas and other immigration benefits for Iranian, Iraqi, Libyan, Somalian, Sudanese, Syrian, and Yemeni nationals. Additionally, Trump’s executive order seeks to implement uniform screening standards across all immigration programs and realign the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 2017. The ban dangerously and indefinitely denies Syrian refugees entry into the United States.

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Though Trump’s travel ban avoids explicit mention of Islam, its motivation to generalize and exclude a religious group from the American identity is plainly understood and rejected by New York Muslims and their allies alike.

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According to PIX11 News, 1,000 Yemeni-American business owners closed bodega doors Thursday following the massive protests and taxi strike at JFK last week. Plans for the bodega strike materialized in under 24 hours; implicit in the store closings is the statement that Yemeni-American business owners have been integrated into New York communities for decades without issue — and are perhaps more integral to these communities than some people realize.

As of Thursday afternoon, crowds had gathered at Brooklyn Borough Hall in anticipation of a formal rally at 5:15pm.

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The timing of the rally concurred with the practice of a public sundown prayer for its Muslim participants.

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Top Photo: Twitter/@JBarrettNYC

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Olivia Loperfido is an English and psychology major at New York University's College of Arts and Sciences, and the junior editor of NYU's Mercer Street (2017-'18). She enjoys spending time with her dogs and tortoise, watching RuPaul's Drag Race, and contacting her state representatives. Follow her on Instagram here and contact her via email here

 

 

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