Thousands Protest Muslim Ban at San Diego Lindbergh Field

Photos: Tom and Nadin Abbott
Video: Tom and Nadin Abbott

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Jan 29, 2017 (San Diego) Anywhere from three to four thousand San Diegans came to Lindberg Field Terminal Two to protest the ban. We cannot give you numbers that are more exact since people came coming and going, and the protest did grow. When we drove by before coming home, the four lanes were down to one, and it took us a good 30 minutes to get out.

The protest was peaceful, but quite loud, and was attended by the young, the old, as well as people from all groups. This included people from the Somali-American community who were present in numbers. Somalia is one of the counties in the list of excluded countries, and we do have a thriving Somali-American community in City Heights. We must add, no Somali refugee has ever been involved in a terrorist attack in the United States. These facts do matter.

Another fact that matters is that currently there are no detainees at the Airport.

The signs also included the wall, which is an issue of contention in San Diego.

We talked to a few airport employees who were happy to see this. After all, this is about the human race, and “we are all the same,” they remarked.  It really does not matter where people come from, we are all the same. It helps that the workers we talked to said that they did come from places where there are people from all places, and diversity is all around.

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Jose Caballero

We also talked with Jose Caballero from San Diego, who told Reporting San Diego, “I am standing here in solidarity with immigrants, and people who deserve to be in this country and have done it legally. And that is what makes America great.”

He added, “we cannot sit down and wait anymore. Every day is a new battle against this administration.” He promised to come back every time he can.

“We cannot make this normal, as far as Donald Trump.”

We also spike briefly of the Executive Order. Caballero said, “it was terribly implemented because there is a lot of confusion. The airport security doesn’t know what to do. They are detaining people. The state Department hasn’t said anything about how many people they are detaining. The number is fluctuating between 120 people and 200 people.”

He did remark that there could be people detained at San Diego Lindberg Field, and none is the wiser. “We need to stand together as a country to say no.” He added that “the executive order is illegal, it stands against everything that our country stands for.” The protests were a demonstration that people were aware of this.

He also wants leaders in Washington “to block Donald Trump, I want them to block every way they can.” This means voting against his appointments and policy positions. he is asking both parties to do this, not just one. He also said that political leaders have to be out in these marches and demonstrations. He did mention that Assembly Member Todd Gloria was present for a tad.

Reporting San Diego saw but lost track of Daniel Smiechowski , so we did not chat.  Smiechowski is running in 2018 for San Diego City Council. The crowd was too large, to be honest. So we are making a note that he showed up.

A few other details about this. The Airport closed access to the terminal at some entrances. This meant they had just a few open, where passengers were coming and going. While we did not talk with passengers, there was a way for them to get to the taxis and other transportation, though it was crowded. The officers from Harbor Police did their best to control what could have become a chaotic situation.

The traffic, however, was difficult to navigate and it took us 45 minutes to get the second piece of video while driving, though.

A little analysis has to be done here. San Diego is not a city where large protests are a regular fare of city life. These are among the largest demonstrations we have seen. The women’s march was the largest. This had a very impressive turnout. There is anger and fear.

Many years back people made fun of the Tea Party. What we are likely seeing is the beginnings of a left-wing wing movement that is ready to take over the Democratic Party, but also flex its political muscles. By our estimation,it is also larger than the beginning of the tea party. We can at least say that for San Diego.

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