Notes from the #NoBanNoWall protest rally in Battery Park, lower Manhattan:
Unusual sign: “I am conservative. I am appalled” plus on the reverse side, Hebrew lettering alongside English reading “For You Were Strangers in the Land of Egypt” — an important part of the Passover observance. Several variations on that quote. More Jewish stuff: Many signs refer to the SS St. Louis, a Jewish refugee ship America turned away, directly resulting in 250 passengers being murdered by Nazis back in Europe. One older woman had a sign that simply read “1933” the year Hitler was made chancellor. A gal with fighting spirit wrote, “Shalom motherfucker. #Jewishresistance.” Photojournalist Emilee Rose took my pic as I passed, and I made a point of going back to tell her my handmade sign was given to me by another Jewish protester who didn’t want to juggle it and her baby anymore yet also wanted the message to keep going. It was pretty simple but I liked it enough to carry: “Jews say Muslims and immigrants welcome!” (Maybe that pic will turn up somewhere; we’ll see.)
Some overtly Christian messages were out, like a Bible verse of Jesus saying: “Whatever services you withheld from the least of them, you withheld from me.”
*Lots* of representations of the Statue of Liberty, extremely appropriate considering the geographic location looks out at the Lady. Painted paper torches were held aloft, quotes offered from the Emma Lazurus poem, arrows to a photo saying “I’m with her,” another calling her a French immigrant. One slightly aggressive version: Line drawing of the Lady, with the caption “Did I stutter?”
There were lots of vulgar jokes, including the juvenile but amusing, “You make pieces of shit look good” with a poop emoji topped with blond hair.
Some pithy general statements included “Human rights with my stars and stripes.” “His mental illness should not be our public policy.” “New York City is seeing something, so we’re saying something.”
Passed a woman walking with tears openly streaming down her face; couldn’t tell her background but it completely doesn’t matter.
Noted not only are we near the castle Clinton monument, and the Statue of Liberty, but just outside the National Museum of the American Indian… And that seemed extremely relevant.