Protesters who gathered at the Denver International Airport Friday evening to protest President Trump’s executive order banning travelers from seven heavily Muslim countries received some rather unpleasant news.
Protesters Were Told They Didn’t Have A Right To Practice Freedom Of Speech
In the YouTube video below, Denver police commander Tony Lopez can be seen telling demonstrators that they are violating the law, Denverite reports.
Lopez can be heard telling people that even carrying a copy of the U.S. Constitution was prohibited in the airport, Raw Story reports.
“I cannot carry a copy of the Constitution without a permit?” one person asks.
“Correct,” Lopez answers.
A string of protests were held at airports around the country, including international airports in New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C., where both immigrants and refugees were held. An Iranian couple and a Syrian mother with her baby were briefly detained, but then allowed to travel freely. Several immigration attorneys were on hand to help anyone who needed it.
Fortunately, none of the Denver protesters were arrested.
A New York federal judge issued an emergency stay for citizens from the aforementioned countries who have already arrived in the U.S., as well as those who are in transit, and those who hold valid visas, thus ruling they can legally enter, Fox31 reported.Justice Ann Donnelly, of the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn handed down the rule late Saturday in response to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. Donnelly was specifically concerned about detainees potentially being injured.
A lawsuit has also been sparked due to the immigration ban after at least one dozen people were detained at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. Some had flown in on Friday night.
Related: UN Asserts Trump’s Muslim Ban A ‘Violation Of Human Rights Law’ (VIDEO)
Officials at Denver International Airport said they were aware that a protest was likely to occur. But in a statement, the airport said that rules and regulations require a permit for public demonstrations.
The airport also said that it also respects the public’s right to engage in political discourse. Police told the demonstrators that they had to leave because they didn’t have permits.
Protest organizers called for the demonstration, which began around 5 p.m. to be peaceful and non-violent. And for protest organizer Amal Kassir, the main reason for the demonstration was to welcome her Muslim friend Omar, who flew into the airport from the East Coast. They planned to hold signs that beckoned “Welcome Omar” on one side and the First Amendment on the other side.
“We are so non-political that we are constitutional,” Kassir said. The event, she said, wasn’t so much a protest. Instead it was a “demonstration of welcome,” that stands in opposition to Trump’s order.
“We are only dressed in red, white and blue today,” she noted. “This is for America. It’s not for anyone else. It’s not for Muslims, it’s not for refugees. It’s not for anybody but America.”
The demonstration began to disperse shortly after 8 p.m. And Denver police seemed as if they were doing a bit of damage control, tweeting things like this:
The executive order signed by Trump prohibited citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days, Denverite reports.
In the video below, Lopez tries to tell people they need a permit to exercise their freedom of speech.