Event organized after signing of executive order by President Trump.
Zamen Abozebiba held a sign saying “hate does not make America great” as people around her chanted “no hate, no fear, refugees are welcome here.”
Abozebiba, 28, who came to the United States 23 years ago from Iraq and has lived in Erie for 15 years, was part of a crowd of about 300 who turned out Sunday at Dobbins Landing in Erie at a solidarity rally for immigrants and refugees. The event followed an executive order signed Friday by President Donald Trump that bans travel to the U.S. by citizens of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia or Yemen for 90 days and includes a 120-day suspension of the U.S. refugee program.
“This definitely was not the America that welcomed me when I needed refuge,” Abozebiba said.
Rally organizer Daniel Doubet, of Keystone Progress Erie, said the event, planned in less than 24 hours, was to demonstrate solidarity with the refugees, immigrants and new Americans in the Erie community.
“We welcome immigrants and they are a crucial part of our community,” he said. “The recent executive order flies in the face of everything our town stands for.”
Similar rallies were held in other cities, including Boston, New York and Seattle.
In Erie, Jeanette Girosky, 51, of Millcreek Township, held a sign with a heart and the message “refugees welcome here.” She called the executive order a travesty and unconscionable for excluding some people based on religion.
She said she doesn’t identify as a member of a particular religion but is a first-generation American.
“My family came over from…
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