12 amazing ways ordinary Americans turned out against Donald Trump's 'Muslim ban.'

The Trump administration's executive order barring citizens of seven predominately Muslim nations from entering the United States was met by a stunning wave of anger and mobilization across America.

As stories about green card holders being pulled off planes bound for the U.S., families with children being handcuffed, and an Iraqi translator who had served the U.S. military being detained in New York began to surface across social media, people moved quickly to make their voices heard. The backlash was led by ordinary citizens outraged at the order's apparent targeting of Muslims, lack of compassion for refugees, and impact on families who have lived in the United States for years.

1. A spontaneous protest erupted at JFK airport in New York City.

Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images.


Thousands of people stood outside JFK Terminal 4 in the bitter cold as travelers and taxi drivers drove by honking their support.

2. The protests quickly spread to airports around the country...

Demonstrators at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images.

Demonstrations broke out in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Atlanta, Washington D.C., Raleigh, Portland, and elsewhere.

3. ...and onto the streets.

Protesters march in Seattle. Photo by Jason Redmond/Getty Images.

4. Lawyers turned out in force, working around the clock on behalf of the stranded travelers.

Immigration attorneys spent the weekend sitting on the floor working to challenge the order and free those who had been detained at customs.  

Some were organized by immigrant rights groups, but many came on their own, brandishing signs offering "free legal help."

5. New York City cab drivers stopped picking people up from JFK in solidarity.

A defiant taxi workers union announced a last-minute work stoppage from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday night, in protest of the ban.

"Our 19,000-member strong union stands firmly opposed to Donald Trump's Muslim ban," the union's official statement read. "As an organization whose membership is largely Muslim, a workforce that's almost universally immigrant, and a working-class movement that is rooted in the defense of the oppressed, we say no to this inhumane and unconstitutional ban."

6. And after Uber tried to undercut the strike, a movement sprung up to urge people to delete the app.

Whether intentional or not, the ride-sharing company dropped its surge pricing on trips from JFK just as the strike was kicking off.

In response, hundreds took to Twitter to shame the company and announce they'd be dropping the service from their phones.

The company's CEO later issued a statement, pledging financial support to its drivers stranded overseas and urging the Trump administration to allow U.S. residents to return home.

7. Veterans raced to the airport rallies to support their Iraqi comrades.

After hearing that an Iraqi interpreter had been stopped at the border, Jeffrey Buchalter, who was injured in Iraq, drove two hours from his home in Maryland to protest for the first time in his life.

"This is not what we fought for, having been in Iraq and working with these interpreters..." Buchalter told the L.A. Times. "Knowing their culture and how they view America, for me, it was a way to send a message to them: What they believe America was, it is. It's the greatest place in the world.”

8. Google co-founder Sergey Brin quietly joined the protests.

Brin, whose family fled the Soviet Union in 1979, explained his presence at the SFO rally to a Forbes reporter saying, "I'm here because I'm a refugee."

9. The ACLU saw a massive influx of donations — and massive doesn't really even begin to describe it.

The American Civil Liberties Union led the legal charge against the order, declaring the ban unconstitutional and discriminatory. Between Friday and Sunday, the organization took in over $24 million — roughly six times its typical annual haul in donations.

10. And the ACLU's lawyers delivered a temporary victory against the ban late Saturday night.

The ACLU brought their case to a federal judge who issued a partial stay of the executive order, preventing the deportation of visa holders who had already landed in the U.S.

The stay was announced on Twitter by the ACLU's National Voting Rights project director.

And praised by director Anthony Romero as an assembled crowd cheered him on.

Refugees will not be deported.

VICTORY: ACLU blocks Trump's unconstitutional Muslim ban. WATCH: ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero coming out of the court where the ACLU argued their case.

Posted by ACLU Nationwide on Saturday, January 28, 2017

11. Crowds cheered as families were released from airport detention centers.

12. Most importantly, ordinary people spent their weekend helping ordinary people.

That's what happened to Rutgers University fellow Mohsen Omrani, who tweeted his story from Newark airport.

By the end of the weekend, the protestors and resisters' efforts paid off — proving once again there is power in numbers.

In addition to the rulings in federal court — the New York ruling was soon joined by a similar, more expansive one in Boston in addition to rulings elsewhere, including Virginia and Washington state — the administration appeared to back off the most controversial portion of the order, allowing green card holders to enter.

For now, much of the executive order still stands, as the challenge moves its way through the courts. But with the victories in court and on the streets, thousands of regular Americans sent a clear message to its new president: If you want to close our country's doors, you have to come through us.

Courtesy of Farwiza Farhan
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Growing up in Indonesia, Farwiza Farhan always loved the ocean. It's why she decided to study marine biology. But the more she learned, the more she realized that it wasn't enough to work in the ocean. She needed to protect it.

"I see the ocean ecosystem collapsing due to overfishing and climate change," she says. "I felt powerless and didn't know what to do [so] I decided to pursue my master's in environmental management."

This choice led her to work in environmental protection, and it was fate that brought her back home to the Leuser Ecosystem in Sumatra, Indonesia — one of the last places on earth where species such as tigers, orangutans, elephants and Sumatran rhinoceros still live in the wild today. It's also home to over 300 species of birds, eight of which are endemic to the region.

"When I first flew over the Leuser Ecosystem, I saw an intact landscape, a contiguous block of lush, diverse vegetation stretched through hills and valleys. The Leuser is truly a majestic landscape — one of a kind."

She fell in love. "I had my first orangutan encounter in the Leuser Ecosystem," she remembers. "As the baby orangutan swung from the branches, seemingly playing and having fun, the mother was observing us. I was moved by the experience."

Courtesy of Farwiza Farhan

"Over the years," she continues, "the encounters with wildlife, with people, and with the ecosystem itself compounded. My curiosity and interest towards nature have turned into a deep desire to protect this biodiversity."

So, she began working for a government agency tasked to protect it. After the agency dismantled for political reasons in the country, Farhan decided to create the HAkA Foundation.

"The goals [of HAkA] are to protect, conserve and restore the Leuser Ecosystem while at the same time catalyzing and enabling just economic prosperity for the region," she says.

"Wild areas and wild places are rare these days," she continues. "We think gold and diamonds are rare and therefore valuable assets, but wild places and forests, like the Leuser Ecosystems, are the kind of natural assets that essentially provide us with life-sustaining services."

"The rivers that flow through the forest of the Leuser Ecosystem are not too dissimilar to the blood that flows through our veins. It might sound extreme, but tell me — can anyone live without water?"

Courtesy of Farwiza Farhan

So far, HAkA has done a lot of work to protect the region. The organization played a key role in strengthening laws that bring the palm oil companies that burn forests to justice. In fact, their involvement led to an unprecedented, first-of-its-kind court decision that fined one company close to $26 million.

In addition, HAkA helped thwart destructive infrastructure plans that would have damaged critical habitat for the Sumatran elephants and rhinos. They're working to prevent mining destruction by helping communities develop alternative livelihoods that don't damage the forests. They've also trained hundreds of police and government rangers to monitor deforestation, helping to establish the first women ranger teams in the region.

"We have supported multiple villages to create local regulation on river and land protection, effectively empowering communities to regain ownership over their environment."

She is one of Tory Burch's Empowered Women this year. The donation she receives as a nominee is being awarded to the Ecosystem Impact Foundation. The small local foundation is working to protect some of the last remaining habitats of the critically endangered leatherback turtle that lives on the west coast of Sumatra.

"The funds will help the organization keep their ranger employed so they can continue protecting the islands, endangered birds and sea turtle habitats," she says.

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen. Do you know an inspiring woman like Farwiza? Nominate her today!

Jennifer Lawrence

After being a Hollywood staple, Jennifer Lawrence vanished from the public eye following the release of "X-Men Dark Phoenix" in 2019.

Sure, the pandemic had something to do with that … in addition to the usual way our society treats Hollywood "it" girls, once it grows accustomed to the flavor. But in a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Lawrence opens up about some other reasons she chose to step away for a time.

Lawrence went from being a highly sought-after Oscar-winning actress to starring in less-than-successful films like "Passengers," "Mother!" and "Red Sparrow." The films were not only poorly received among critics, but commercially as well.

"I was not pumping out the quality that I should have," she told VF. "I just think everybody had gotten sick of me. I'd gotten sick of me. It had just gotten to a point where I couldn't do anything right. If I walked a red carpet, it was, 'Why didn't she run?'"

So then, why do it? As any workaholic would know, it's about so much more than money.

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Courtesy of Ms. Lopez
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Marcella Lopez didn't always want to be a teacher — but once she became one, she found her passion. That's why she's stayed in the profession for 23 years, spending the past 16 at her current school in Los Angeles, where she mostly teaches children of color.

"I wanted purpose, to give back, to live a life of public service, to light the spark in others to think critically and to be kind human beings," she says. "More importantly, I wanted my students to see themselves when they saw me, to believe they could do it too."

Ms. Lopez didn't encounter a teacher of color until college. "That moment was life-changing for me," she recalls. "It was the first time I felt comfortable in my own skin as a student. Always remembering how I felt in that college class many years ago has kept me grounded year after year."

It's also guided her teaching. Ms. Lopez says she always selects authors and characters that represent her students and celebrate other ethnicities so students can relate to what they read while also learning about other cultures.

"I want them to see themselves in the books they read, respect those that may not look like them and realize they may have lots in common with [other cultures] they read about," she says.

She also wants her students to have a different experience in school than she did.

When Ms. Lopez was in first grade, she "was speaking in Spanish to a new student, showing her where the restroom was when a staff member overheard our conversation and directed me to not speak in Spanish," she recalls. "In 'this school,' we only speak English," she remembers them saying. "From that day forward, I was made to feel less-than and embarrassed to speak the language of my family, my ancestors; the language I learned to speak first."

Part of her job, she says, is to find new ways to promote acceptance and inclusion in her classroom.

"The worldwide movement around social justice following the death of George Floyd amplified my duty as a teacher to learn how to discuss racial equity in a way that made sense to my little learners," she says. "It ignited me to help them see themselves in a positive light, to make our classroom family feel more inclusive, and make our classroom a safe place to have authentic conversations."

One way she did that was by raising money through DonorsChoose to purchase books and other materials for her classroom that feature diverse perspectives.

Courtesy of Ms. Lopez

The Allstate Foundation recently partnered with DonorsChoose to create a Racial Justice and Representation category to encourage teachers like Ms. Lopez to create projects that address racial equity in the classroom. To launch the category, The Allstate Foundation matched all donations to these projects for a total of $1.5 million. Together, they hope to drive awareness and funding to projects that bring diversity, inclusion, and identity-affirming learning materials into classrooms across the country. You can see current projects seeking funding here.

When Ms. Lopez wanted to incorporate inclusive coloring books into her lesson plans, The Allstate Foundation fully funded her project so she was able to purchase them.

"I'm a lifelong learner, striving to be my best version of myself and always working to inspire my little learners to do the same," she says. Each week, Ms. Lopez and the students would focus on a page in the book and discuss its message. And she plans to do the same again this school year.

"DonorsChoose has been a gamechanger for my students. Without the support of all the donors that come together on this platform, we wouldn't have a sliver of what I've been able to provide for my students, especially during the pandemic," she says.

"My passion is to continue striving to be excellent, and to continue to find ways to use literature as an anchor, depicting images that reflect my students," she says.

To help teachers like Ms. Lopez drive this important mission forward, donate on DonorsChoose.

Courtesy of Ms. Lopez

This story was originally published on The Mighty and originally appeared here on 07.21.17


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Photo by Vanessa Garcia from Pexels

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