“This is a slippery slope. Little by little it will become the America that we don’t know any longer,” Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte told a crowd of protesters at the baggage claim at the Portland Jetport this afternoon.
Turcotte was one of about twenty (20) or so speakers who addressed a rally opposed to Trump’s temporary ban on immigration from Muslim-dominated countries, although he denies this is a ban on the Muslim religion – an executive order he signed on Friday and backfired on him last night at a John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City. Turcotte’s family came to the United States from the former Soviet Union when she was fourteen (14) years old. She has since become an attorney and is vice president of operational risk for a local bank as well as serving on the Westbrook City Council since 2015.
“Immigrants are not terrorist. Show your solidarity with people in poverty. People who are dealing with hunger, famine and war. And now the US is closing the door on these people,” said Laz Donato, who emigrated here from South Sudan.
Cliff Rosen, MD. runs the osteoporosis research department for Maine Medical Center. “We get the smartest and the brightest people from all over the world studying osteoporosis in our lab. That’s why we need to keep them coming. We have funding, but if they can’t get here it will be a serious problem for us,” said Dr. Rosen. (See above right photo.) Farnsworth said he’s opposed to the immigration ban and Chipman called it cruel and discriminatory.
The Rally was held close to the baggage claim. Eight flights from different airlines arrived during the two-hour rally – which actually ran a little overtime. Passengers had to walk through and around the rally to pick up their luggage. It could be intimidating for some people who are in a hurry to get to their destination after a long flight from some where said one Jetport employee. At its peak, around 1,500 people attended according to police estimates.
“This is part of democracy. We are pleased for the Jetport that the rally has been thoughtful to the passengers that have nothing to do with the issue at hand. I’m pleased that the protesters did their best not to interfere with Jetport operations, said Paul H. Bradbury, P.E., Jetport Director following the event.
Please visit previous post for information on the huge Rally on the steps of City Hall in Portland just prior to the Jetport rally. (Actually, there was some overlap between the two events.) The delay in completing this post was due to a computer glitch which has since been fixed thanks to my webmaster Mike Farris.