Amnesty International and The Raging Grannies Protest President Trump

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Yesterday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California rejected President Trump’s efforts to lift his travel ban from seven majority-muslim countries. The judges on the case challenged Trump’s claim that the courts should stay out of the process, and ruled that there was no immediate threat to national security to warrant the ban.But Trump has vowed to keep fighting. And so have a slew of human rights organizations. Rebecca Scott (Ruh-BEK-uh SCOTT) brings us this story from a protest today in midtown Manhattan.

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It’s a bitterly cold day in New York City but the crowd assembled on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 60th Street isn’t deterred by the temperature. They’re here for Amnesty International’s Stand Up to Trump rally. (0:12)

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ALICE SUTTER: A Trump will make us great again, hear the bigots celebrate again, prison builders salivate again, Trump will make us great again. (0:12)

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That’s Alice Sutter, one of the attendees. She’s singing a song she wrote for The Raging Grannies, a group of elderly women who get together to attend protests like the one Amnesty International is hosting today. (0:12)

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ALICE SUTTER: We’re the New York Metro Raging Grannies and there are raging grannies – they started in Vancouver and they’ve spread all over the place . (0:11)

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Amnesty International is among the many human rights organizations that have found themselves busier than usual during President Trump’s first weeks in office. Today, activists are spending their Friday lunch break marching to Trump Tower to let the president know exactly what they think about his travel ban. (0:19)

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DIANNE GORMAN: Part of me wants to appeal to him on a humanity level but I don’t know if that’s possible. We need a leader, not a tweeter. (0:07)

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Dianne Gorman was an active member of Amnesty International in the 90s. She began attending meetings again in November, after Trump was elected. She says that Amnesty International is just one of the organizations on her radar.

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DIANNE GORMAN: I mean, I’m on a lot of mailing lists right now. It’s hard to keep up with everything. I’ve created a new folder called “Resist.” I’m just taking a lunch break for action. (0:10)

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Once the protestors reach Trump Tower, the plan is to place a couple of hundred welcome mats around the border of the building. Eric Ferrero, one of the protest organizers, says that this is to symbolize what America is all about. (0:15)

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ERIC FERRERO: Yeah, I think we’re here to really talk about compassion and respect and the welcoming and affirming spirit that America was founded on and that most Americans feel towards refugees of all backgrounds and I think, unfortunately, President Trump doesn’t seem to understand that. (0:18)

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Ferrero says the court’s decision to strike down the travel ban was an encouraging sign for human rights’ activists but that it’s not enough.

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ERIC FERRERO: We want Congress to step in immediately and rescind the Mulim ban . It’s discriminatory, it’s dangerous.. Even with the court order in effect, we’re still hearing from people who are being stopped by border patrol agents, questioned, and detained.

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(SOUND: ALICE SINGING/ FADE UNDER AND THEN BACK UP AND THEN OUTRO).

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The outcome of Trump’s travel ban remains uncertain but one thing is for sure – the street that leads to Trump Tower will be well worn by the feet of activists, both young and old, before this fight is over. (0:11)

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Rebecca Scott, Columbia Radio News.

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