Immigration Rally in Williamsport

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WILLIAMSPORT -- Demonstrations over President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration policy continued around the country Sunday.

As demonstrators rallied in dozens of cities across the U.S., about 100 people gathered in Williamsport, expressing their dismay at President Trump's new policies on immigrants and refugees.

Waving flags and signs with slogans such as "Love trumps hate," people rallied in front of the federal courthouse on West Third Street in Williamsport.

"This flag is being distorted into standing for keeping people out," said Tim Mannello of Williamsport.

The demonstration was one of dozens held across the country in response to President Trump's executive order restricting immigrants and refugees from seven mostly Muslim countries.

Pastor Sam Hwang of the First Presbyterian Church, an immigrant himself, organized the rally in Lycoming County, and expressed surprise at the size of the turnout.

"I am just so grateful that caring people are here to make a statement," Hwang said.

The group included a number of Muslims. Asif Javed is an American citizen who emigrated from Pakistan, and fears how the country is changing.

"I chose to come to the United States because I imagined I'm going to the country of Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln," said Javed.

The demonstrators have been greeted with a mix of reaction, some people honked their horns as they drove by, others rolled down the window and shouted, "Build the wall."

The atmosphere grew tense as demonstrators confronted a group of pickup trucks with drivers revving engines and circling the area.

"We want to put our country first, and they want to put Syrian refugees before us. They want to put immigrants before their own people in America," said Claudia Brewer of Williamsport.

One group of Muslim women explained while recent days have been difficult, being at this demonstration made them feel less alone.

"It feels really good. It's really surprising. I didn't expect this many people to come out," Miranda Witt of Williamsport said.

Organizers encouraged participants at the rally to take action by contacting their elected officials and participating in local political organizations.

50 comments

  • Real American

    Liberals love refugees and muslims so much they couldn’t help but bomb the crap out of their countries under Obama with drones that hit civilians…

  • Let's Be Reasonable

    Well stated Get Real… although I applaud our community exercising their right to peaceful demonstration, our County/City has some serious issues that require the leg work of an educated voter’s turn out to start the mending process. Dissolving the “Good Ol’ Boys” club requires transparency and a truthful – yet fearless voice. I noticed that the Sun-Gazette is taking comments down… please do not let that deter you. Share your concerns and voice truthful comments… especially to those of you who feel as if you’ve been victimized by particular County/City Offices. I guarantee you are not alone. There just may be a storm brewing.

  • Writer Girl

    Organizers encouraged participants at the rally to take action by contacting their elected officials and participating in local political organizations…..
    Vote only if you’re a Citizen. Otherwise, it’s Voter Fraud!
    I really appreciate the people in those trucks. America First!

  • Writer Girl

    Ms. Javed fears how the country is changing? Well, so do real Americans who only have one country they call home and love. We see our country becoming a flop house for every idiot with a problem or is an opportunist. America belongs to American Citizens. We don’t owe the rest of world anything, losers.

  • CeeMe

    It’s amazing how stupid Americans are. Illegals and refugees, please all go to Williamsport, so they can become a bigger dump than they already are!

  • Americans First

    I really wish these protestors cared more about our homeless Vets . Americans that Served our Country, than they do for these immigrants. Our Statue of Liberty weeps for that too.

  • JessicaInWilliamsport

    We are also angry about the fact that this president is making recruitment for terrorists a whole lot easier. He’s not making us safer at all.

    • redrum

      You do realize how “islamaphobic” that makes YOU sound, right? The irony with you people is something to be… well… laughed at. Because you do it to yourselves. Why are temper tantrums by people that don’t even bother to read these orders news?

    • CeeMe

      Such illogical thinking. You, like our officials, need to grow a set and stop worrying about the rest of the world. They wouldn’t help you.

      • JessicaInWilliamsport

        U.S. interference in the Middle East is what caused the refugee crisis in the first place. Let’s start with not doing things like that, but first let’s clean up the mess we made by allowing ourselves to be lied into an unnecessary war in Iraq.

  • JessicaInWilliamsport

    I was there, it was a wonderful bunch of people from all walks of life. We had veterans, former teachers, small business owners and so many more! — such a myriad of voices all standing together. I’m very proud to have stood with such wonderful people.

    • Bill K.

      Jessica, if you love them so much why don’t you have five or six of them living with you? Oh, don’t have the room? Then you’d have no problem putting them up in a hotel on your dime. Make sure you take time off work so you can drive them to the grocery store and buy whatever they want. I’m sure you’d have no problem letting them date your kids.

  • I Am The Antipope

    “I chose to come to the United States because I imagined I’m going to the country of Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln,” You know Lincoln suspended Habeas Corpus? Something Trump or any other president in office could do to override that judge’s order?

  • Seneca

    The demonstrators were only reacting to a parody of it as presented by Trump-hostile elements of the media. The EO is not a Muslim ban and is based on security reviews conducted under the previous administration, and is completely legal underexisting immigration legislation.

    While they made no valid points regarding Trump’s EO, they were still successful in getting public attention for protesting Trump. That was their real aim.

  • WarningFakeNews

    WNEP: Posting Story after story to fit the narrative.
    Another definition of “narrative” this time from Wikipedia:
    A narrative or story is any report of connected events, actual or imaginary, presented in a sequence of written or spoken words, or still or moving images.
    (emphasis ours) So far, ALL of the examples of the reporting here have fit ONE narrative, ONE side.

  • wannabeinformed

    I’ve always wondered where all those wonderful Moslem / Islamic were, when things went down in NYC, Boston, Paris, Germany?? Why didn’t THEY rally and protest!!! Why didn’t THEY fill up the streets and show their radical brothers that they are NOT behind their philosophies??? Am I the only one wondering about this????

    • CeeMe

      I think the answer to your question lies in the fact that no one becomes an American, in the sense they leave their own culture behind, so what do they care?

  • Steve smith

    How many of these wackos protested the beheading of one innocent Christian american? Comming to america, unrest and hate! Go make and defend your own country. Leave our democracy the way we as americans want it.

  • jenny from the block

    Haven’t seen the Democrats this mad since the Republicans took away their slaves… I mean, you are protesting the POTUS doing his job of trying to keep Americans safe? People who have the right to come here have already been released. Where’s THAT coverage?

  • Bill K

    I’m sure all these protesters who want the refugees in our country are housing two or three of them. I’m sure they’d have no problem giving them a car. I’m sure they’d be perfectly fine with letting the refugee men date their daughters.

  • Lloyd Schmucatelli

    Hey, one good thing about all this nonsense is, it’s taken the attention off the BLM nonsense!

  • Godzilla

    I think these people should move about 1 block away and protest what has been going on in city hall! Deal with the drugs, murders and corruption issues in your own back yard! Nitwits!

    • GET REAL

      OR two blocks the other….Seriously, maybe YOU spectator’s might get your votes in the game for some serious resolve? Your District Attorney Erik Lindhart is a Republican who tried to silence his Democratic competition by way of staging a set up regarding misappropriation of clients monies. However, his claim is easily falsified as his claim to combating the DRUG issue in Lycoming County. Back check folks, he let Raymond Kontz 3rd off for a year, son of a Williamsport Police Officer who STOLE while working for the taxpayers, go free on almost killing a girl who he gave HERION too. WHO gave Chief, Deputy Foresman’s son his lethal dose of herion? Was his son an informant??????

  • rayzin42

    What the…. So these people are protesting because we’re not letting all these other countries rejects in our country? Wow. Why do people think the US is an open door for all the world’s problems? The flag stands for the people of the US, and all those that fought to keep it free… Not people run out of other countries.. Sorry for them, but not our problem.

    • JessicaInWilliamsport

      Refugees are due to our failed policies in the middle east, we should help to clean up our own messes. The countries where the 9/11 attackers hailed from are mysteriously not on the list. I don’t care who the president is, that’s one of the most hypocritical things I’ve ever seen. You’re allegedly protecting the country from terrorists, yet the worst offenders for beheading and stoning people — funding terrorism and breeding terrorists — Saudi Arabia — is given a free pass. Makes no sense whatsoever other than an excuse to be a bigot on a grand scale. I will not sacrifice my country to fear, that’s how the terrorists win. We are a nation of immigrants and refugees, anything less is UNAMERICAN

      • You believe anything

        Another misinformed individual. You do know that the 7 countries were from a List that Obama created under the visa waiver program in 2015… Obama listed these 7 countries as ” Countries of Concern ” Obama also blocked all Iraqi refugees for 6 months..where was the hate for that then ? Oh let me guess , you were busy reading everything media puts out as the complete truth, believing everything your friends say on FB without ever researching for the complete truth or real facts..

        Trump will most likely add even more countries , he has the option to do that, its not set in stone ..for now he just followed what Obama did.

      • JessicaInWilliamsport

        Apparently you have problems with reading comprehension. As I said in my original post I don’t care who the president is — I opposed being best friends with the Saudis for *years* — and when we freed Kuwait, the women weren’t freed, they’re still oppressed. But hey let’s stay best friends with them. I also opposed MFN status for countries like China, I’ve written and phoned my elected officials my entire adult life about these concerns. What have you done?

      • Bill K.

        Jessica, I couldn’t care less why these people are trying to override our immigration laws and come in here. I just don’t want them living next to me. I don’t care if you think I’m whatever-phobic. Call it whatever you want. I just don’t want these potential terrorists/welfare recipients living where they can potentially hurt my loved ones or suck more of my tax dollars.

      • JessicaInWilliamsport

        If you were actually informed, you’d know that most refugees/immigrants ending costing us zero dollars. Many come here and set up small businesses and pay the initial money given them to get started back tenfold in their communities. As many on here like to joke about, Williamsport does have problems with AMERICAN drug addicts and AMERICAN criminals. I’d much rather have a productive refugee/immigrant living next to me.

      • You Believe Anything

        This is Actually a reply to Jessica..I was touching on the fact of you saying how mysterious It is that Saudi is not on the list. ,,Yes , Saudi is Missing because once again Trump went by the list of 7 countries that Obama deemed as ” Countries of Concern ” which so happened didn’t include Saudi. No clear outrage over that back in 2015 under Obama…but It doesnt mean that Trump might not include Saudi and more countries he can adjust this executive order.

        And again , Obama bombed 5 of the 7 countries listed. Obama and Bush created the Mess in the 1st place . but what was Bush supposed to do after 9/11? Sit back and forget about it and not retaliate against Saudi? Just to let them do it again. Trump is trying to fix it. It’s not Un American for him to do this. under the Immigration and Nationality act signed in 1952 ( not yesterday) gives any President the Power and right to do this. Which several Presidents have used in the past.

        Did you also forget about the Patriot Act? Because of 9/11 we now as Americans are under that. Americans don’t have a problem with it because it’s a plan to keep our Country safer. We were all subjected to body scanning now at airports, have to take off our shoes because of the shoe bomber…I dont have a problem with that either because its supposed to protect us. Why should incoming immigrants refugees have a problem with more strict guidelines ?

        So why should America give clear and free entry to every single foreignor without a better vetting process. While Americans have to show their SS card, picture ID, passport to fly within this country now , we have to show all kinds of documents to buy a house, get a bank account, wire money to a loved one, get a drivers license , enroll kids in school ..utility bills ….for anything we want to do now as Americans already.

        Democrats don’t care because it means more votes for them from these foreign immigrants/ refugees. So yes, they are mainly all for them to be here.

        Please , do me a favor and read up on our History before making unintelligent comments in the future.

      • JessicaInWilliamsport

        Let me take your points one by one: Obama’s “countries of concern” were in response to ACTUAL intelligence reports of plots to attack in the U.S. Trump has no such reasoning. Have you actually read the order? He cites 9/11 which makes the exclusion of the Saudis even more hypocritical. Hey, he’s doing executive orders willy nilly, adding Saudi Arabia to the list shouldn’t be a problem now should it? Also, there was outrage when Obama did it, you just weren’t paying attention. Look it up and inform yourself.

        After 9/11 we should have been more intelligent about the retaliation, the Iraqis did nothing to us, and the extremists were kept in check under Saddam — so absolutely it is Bush and Obama’s fault — as well as Reagan and Bush 1, for having the CIA train the mujahedeen, including bin Laden.

        I opposed and still oppose the Patriot Act – it’s government overreach that accomplishes nothing more than making it easier for people like Trump to eavesdrop on those who oppose them. The whole “well if you’re not doing anything wrong you’ll be alright” argument doesn’t wash. If it did, then that same logic should be used against this president not releasing his tax returns. If he’s not doing anything wrong……LOL

        They are not coming in “free and clear”, the vetting process is already incredibly extensive, not to mention lengthy. It already takes 12-24 months to be approved or disapproved. Far more than just flashing a passport, or I.D. or SS card.

        We are responsible for a lot of the strife in the Middle East. I’m all for putting America first, which to me means keeping out of the middle east, closing down the bases in the middle east — stop giving money to ALL the countries in the middle east INCLUDING Israel. However, we should be willing to take in refugees because we caused them to be homeless. Those people could have stayed and joined ISIS, but they chose to be peaceful and run away hoping to find somewhere to live peacefully with their families.

        I have read up on our history, a lot — it’s one of my favorite subjects — I think you need to take your own advice.

      • JessicaInWilliamsport

        Oh, and as for history…if you don’t know it you’re likely to repeat it. Internment camps were an atrocity that shouldnt’ happen again, and turning away refugees (see Jews fleeing the Holocaust) shouldn’t be repeated.

    • Bill K.

      Wyatt, I’d rather have to wait for an American doctor that try to decipher what Dr. Bablyonandonandon from mudistan is trying to tell me.

  • nojustice_nopeace

    Why don’t you clowns in Williamsport worry about cleaning out your drug dealers and let Trump run the country K?

Comments are closed.