- Associated Press - Friday, January 20, 2017

ATLANTA (AP) - Two separate protests pushing for a diverse set of demands converged at Atlanta City Hall on Friday just minutes after President Donald Trump was sworn in in Washington.

A few hundred people chanted and waved signs protesting Trump, denouncing racism and police brutality and expressing support for immigrants, Muslims and the Black Lives Matter movement.

One protest was organized by a coalition of community groups called the Georgia January 20th coalition. They demanded that Mayor Kasim Reed declare Atlanta a sanctuary city and submitted a specific list of demands to his office after the demonstration.

Sanctuary cities generally refuse to use their resources and staff to aid the enforcement of federal immigration laws.

Organizers of the other group, We the People, said they want to use anger resulting from Trump’s election to drive social, political and economic justice.

“We are a movement where people of all political parties, races, sexes, and creeds, unite. We stand for truth rather than lies; respect, rather than misogyny and discrimination, accountability rather than passiveness and economic justice rather than suppression,” the group said in a manifesto posted online.

Azadeh Shahshahani, of Project South which is part of the Georgia January 20th Coalition, cited what she called a “torrent of hate, xenophobia, racism, and Islamophobia from some at the federal level epitomized by the inauguration today launching a system of white supremacy” and demanded that Atlanta take steps to protect the human rights of affected communities.

The diverse list of demands presented to the mayor’s office included: Don’t use city resources to assist the deportation of immigrants; close the city jail; oppose any registry based on religious identity, national origin, gender, race or political affiliation; stop using police checkpoints, roadblocks, raids focusing on arresting sex workers and no-knock warrants; legalize marijuana; stop using money bail; repeal city ordinances related to “broken windows” policing; and institute a minimum wage of $15 an hour.

“It’s not enough to just be a welcoming city. This must be a sanctuary city,” said Mary Hooks, co-director of Southerners on New Ground, also part of the Georgia January 20th Coalition, as she presented the list of demands to Katrina Taylor Parks, the mayor’s deputy chief of staff.

Some of the group’s demands coincide with things the mayor’s office is already doing, Taylor Parks told the group, adding that the mayor’s office would review the demands and would respond.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide