(ATLANTA, GA - 1/21/17) The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-GA) co-sponsored, delivered speeches, and marched at two Atlanta demonstrations in response to President Trump's inauguration, including the Atlanta March for Social Justice & Women, which also featured remarks by Congressman John Lewis.
"These marches gave diverse communities a chance to learn from each other, strengthen each other, and remind each other that we have a new president, but we do not have a new Constitution," said Edward Ahmed Mitchell, executive director of CAIR-GA. "This is still America. The rules of the game are still the same. Now it's our responsibility to ensure that our leaders play by those rules over the next four years. If they fail to do so, we must be ready to defend our rights by any legal means necessary."
The first march was the Jan. 21st "People's Inauguration," an immigration-themed march from Troy Davis Park to City Hall led by the Georgia J20 Coalition, which called on the City of Atlanta to declare itself a literal and metaphorical sanctuary city for women, immigrants, Muslims and others facing the prospect of unjust treatment under the new administration.
"We come from different organizations with different missions," Mitchell told the audience during remarks at City Hall. "In fact, we probably hold different social, politicial, religious and economic views about how to run the village we call America. Yet we're all here today, united, because there's no time to debate how to run the village when madmen are coming to burn the village down."
During the Atlanta March for Social Justice & Women, over 60,000 people marched from the Center for Civil & Human Rights to the State Capitol, led by Congressman John Lewis, Dr. Francys Johnson of The Georgia NAACP, former Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin, and Aisha Yaqoob of Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ). 55 different organizations co-sponsored the march, which began with speeches at the Center.
"Over the next four years, let us unite to protect our village. Let us speak truth to power and stand up to tyranny, as Moses (pbuh) once did," Mitchell said to the audience assembed at the Center. "Let us uphold morality, including compassion for the poor, the sick, and the least among us, as Jesus (pbuh) once did. And let us remind our neighbors that all human beings, male and female, black and white, rich and poor, immigrant and indigenous, are equal in their humanity, as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) taught 1400 years ago."