Thousands rally in Boulder and Denver to ‘support Muslim neighbors’

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DENVER — Two rallies were held in Boulder’s Central Park and Denver’s Civic Center on Saturday to protest President Donald Trump’s executive order that temporarily stopped refugees from coming into the United States.

The common themes were “diversity and unity” in these “divisive times.”

They gathered first in the morning to march in Boulder and voice their disapproval of what they called Trump’s first “disastrous few weeks in office.”

“We’re not going to allow this country to go from a democracy to dictatorship or a fascist state,” Boulder rally organizer William Chinnock said.

The many causes on their handmade signs have become familiar themes.

Mostly in reaction to executive orders on immigration and the now challenged temporary ban on refugees and other travel from seven Muslim countries to the U.S.

“I feel like if we ban refugees we are kind of doing something against our fundamental founding principles,” said Molly Mohseni, one of about 1,000 protesters in Boulder.

Trump’s executive order barred citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. for three months. It also suspended admission of refugees for four months.

However, a federal judge in Washington ruled the order was unconstitutional Friday, stopping enforcement of the executive order.

A much larger crowd numbering in the thousands gathered at Denver’s Civic Center Park for the “protect our Muslim neighbors rally.”

An organizer said the rally was specifically an effort to support Muslims in Denver. There were a number of speakers, poets and musicians who participated in the rally.

“Allowing Muslims and non-Muslims alike to come together and say we are not going to stand for this this will be a stain on American history,” said Iman Jodeh of the Colorado Muslim Society.

“We know what this is like. We’ve gone through this before. We shouldn’t allow it to happen again.”

The Civic Center crowd was predicted to reach at least 10,000. Thousands paused in silence as Muslim participants observed afternoon prayers.

The overriding message was a call for “unity in divisive times.”

“Whose ancestors didn’t flee poverty?” asked protester Barbralu Cohen. “Or even war or persecution or lack of opportunity? We all came over and that is the bedrock and strength of our nation.”

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