Scores of people protesting President Donald Trump’s executive order limiting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries filled the central plaza at the University of Washington Tacoma on Monday.
Protesters, many of them students or faculty members at the school, were there for an hour, discussing how they see the ban as unjust and sowing fear among the people it targets.
Organizer Libi Sundermann, a UWT lecturer in European and world history, said she felt like she needed to take action after being troubled by Trump’s actions.
“I’ve been frankly horrified by the decisions President Trump and his Cabinet have made since his election,” the 45-year-old Olympia woman said.
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Sundermann decided on a protest after going on a run with Emma Rose, a UWT assistant professor in writing and her co-planner. Sundermann had not ever organized a protest before, but she said she was “empowered” after taking part in the Womxn’s March on Seattle on Jan. 21.
Monday’s rally was designed to support Muslim students, immigrant students, refugee students — people Sundermann said fit into the UWT mission statement of fostering “a thriving and equitable society by educating diverse learners.”
“We wanted to offer them support and make our voices heard about the poor decisions we think our administration is making right now,” she said.
UWT campus security and event organizers did not have an official headcount of how many people attended. Estimates ranged from 100 to 200 people.
Sundermann said she plans to help educate UWT students and faculty members interested in activism, using the present political climate as a teaching moment for civic engagement, societal and cultural relations, and the importance of fact-based evidence.
“My guess is there’s going to be more protests, because I don’t think things are going to improve anytime soon,” she said.