About 40 UCLA students and community members gathered in front of Kerckhoff Hall Thursday afternoon to protest recent actions by President Donald Trump.
The United Arab Society, Muslim Student Association and Young Progressives Demanding Action at UCLA organized the “No Ban, No Wall // Rally and March” in response to Trump’s executive order barring Syrian refugees indefinitely and citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days.
They also protested Trump’s order to begin construction on a wall along the border between the U.S. and Mexico.
Liam Murphy, president of Young Progressives Demanding Action and a second-year political science student, said the groups wanted the event to serve as a forum for marginalized communities to share their experiences.
“Trump campaigned on xenophobia, but we’re going to say that he doesn’t have a mandate,” Murphy said.
People in the crowd held signs that said “Build bridge, no wall” and “No Ban No Wall” as they listened to speakers share their experiences and reasons for opposing Trump. Some also emphasized the need to unite in the face of challenges.
Undergraduate Students Association Council General Representative 3 Inan Chowdhury said at the rally he thinks the campus should come together to support affected students.
“If we combine our voices together, we don’t need a microphone,” Chowdhury said. “We want the beauty of diversity to show.”
After speakers finished their remarks, the crowd marched down Bruin Walk before turning into the Court of Sciences. People then made their way to North Campus.
As they walked, protesters chanted the names of different communities for which they stood.
“We stand for LGBTQ citizens,” the crowd said. “We stand for undocumented citizens. We stand for African-American citizens.”
Many students stood on the sidelines, watching as the crowd walked past. Some said they thought the event was at the wrong time because many students were still in class.
Event organizers said they wanted to inform others of the repercussions of Trump’s actions.
Ali Unar, programming director for MSA and a second-year political science student, said his organization has members who have been affected, even if they do not come from countries specified in Trump’s executive order.
“It’s literally that Islam is being targeted,” Unar said. “We are under oppression.”
He added he wanted to raise awareness about the effects of the ban for people who might not necessarily know about them.
“People from the middle (part of) America can’t see the effect,” Unar said.
Unar also said the protest aims to pressure administration to assure Muslim students the University will protect them.
University of California President Janet Napolitano and the chancellor of each campus released a statement Sunday condemning Trump’s executive order.
“While maintaining the security of the nation’s visa system is critical, this executive order is contrary to the values we hold dear as leaders of the University of California,” the administrators said.