Delmarva’s Heart & Soul: Trump Travel Ban Prompts Rally, Counterrally in Salisbury
The very issue has pit the president against protestors: an order to restrict travel from seven Muslim-majority countries. Trump attacked those challenging his travel ban last week, defending the order in a speech to law enforcement.
“This was done very importantly for security, something you people know more about than all of us,” Trump told police. “It was done for the security of our nation, the security of our citizens so that people coming in who aren’t going to do us harm, and that’s why it was done.”
The president’s deputy assistant, Sebastian Gorka, said the ban is not about religion, but rather the safety of all Americans.
“If it were about Islam, it wouldn’t have these seven nations on there,” Gorka said. “Why isn’t Egypt on the list– the largest Arab nation in the world? It’s about the threat to america.”
While many Americans agree with the reasoning, many others, like Salisbury native Molly Likovich, do not.
“I want to unify the community,” she said. So Likovich decided to do take action.
“I decided at 4:30 in the morning to make a Facebook event,” she said. “I thought if 10 people will do it, that’s great. I woke up and it said you have 200 Facebook notifcations.”
Likovich said she cleared the idea for the “No Ban No Wall No Registry” rally with the mayor’s office and then contacted friends.
“When Molly reached out to me about the event and wanting to have speakers, there was just something inside me that was like, ‘Yes!'” said Katie Turner, who will be speaking at the rally.
Those attending will hear speeches, poetry and local musicians from those of all religions, races and beliefs.
“I reached out to the local mosque and the Catholic Church and the [Beth] Israel congregation, just pretty much everyone to see who wanted to talk,” Likovich said. “To have other faiths and other denominations and people just across the board welcoming us, it’s a refreshing feeling.”
Elise Laabab moved to salisbury with her family six months ago, adding she’s felt apprehension from those of all backgrounds.
“I’m an everyday Muslim-American,” she said. “I think that this ban and this event is a good way for Muslims to get more involved. Right now they’re very scared.”
Other supporters like Babs McGrory say that’s what Saturday’s rally is all about: easing fears.
“I don’t necessarily agree with any particular religious philosophy, butI respect someone’s right to believe what they want to believe as long as they’re not imposing harm on other people,” she said. “Just because a person is Muslim does not mean they’re posing harm on other people.”
“My son goes to pre-school with their sons,” Laabab said. “We’re on the same soccer teams. We drive minivans. we go to Chick Fil a! We do the same things everyone else does.”
Likovich said of the rally, “If we make one person feel safer and happier, at the end of the day we did our job.”
Organizers say everyone is welcome to attend the rally which will be held from 1-4 p.m. Saturday outside the Wicomico County Circuit Court at 101 N. Division St. Likovich said signs are welcome.
Counterrally Planned for Same Time, Same Place
After gathering information for this story, WBOC learned a counterrally will be held at the same time, same place on Saturday. Matt Adams, chairman of the Somerset County Republican Central Committee and the Lower Shore regional coordinator for the Trump campaign in Maryland, is the organizer of the counterrally, which will be in support of the president.
“The organizers of the ‘No Ban No Wall No Registry’ rally can call it what they want. It’s an anti-Trump protest….They don’t like that Donald Trump won… But those of us who support the president need to have a presence.”
Adams said the “silent majority of this country” need to stand up and be recognized and that is what the counterrally is about.
“You don’t have to attack. It’s not about violence,” he said. “Just show up. Hold a sign if you want. What it comes down to is that we are not in favor of what the other side is pedaling.”
WBOC Web Editor Kye Parsons contributed to this story.