Parents

Parents Create Teachable Moments At Immigration Protests

This is what Trump's executive order looks like through the eyes of children.

The74Million.org is a non-profit education news site, devoted to telling the stories of schools, teachers, parents and America’s 74 million kids.

The East Coast protests started haphazardly enough Saturday afternoon. Washington, D.C., residents started gathering at Dulles International Airport around the same time New Yorkers were trekking to JFK’s international terminal — rallied by Facebook Live videos and social media posts that decried President Trump’s new executive order temporarily banning travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries, including Syrian refugees, from entering the United States.

It was a few dozen, then a few hundred. Then a few thousand spread out across the country, as spontaneous demonstrations popped up further west — notably at Chicago O’Hare International Airport and San Francisco International Airport.

Within hours, a full slate of Sunday protests had also been announced, going viral on Twitter as people encouraged their followers to turn out the following day. Boston’s Copley Square, New York City’s Battery Park, D.C.’s Pennsylvania Avenue, and, of course, the airports: Philadelphia at 2 p.m., Chicago at 6, Los Angeles at 5, Boston at 7, Seattle at 5, JFK all day.

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If Saturday evening’s protests were notable for their speed and spontaneity, Sunday’s protests were notable for the complexion of the crowds. Cutting across races, nationalities, and age groups, uniting those who have birth certificates with green card holders, Americans took to the streets on Sunday.

And for many, it was a family affair.

At several airport actions Sunday, the sidewalks were dotted with kids — some grown, some small — as parents turned a peaceful protest into a teachable moment: about citizenship, community, and free speech. In particular, the protest at Los Angeles International Airport saw families turn out in force. Several kids spoke about their own immigrant experience with parents or family members who came to the U.S. to start a new life.

If you attended or livestreamed protests over the weekend, and either brought a child or saw kids in attendance, we’d love to hear more about your experience. E-mail us at info@the74million.org. (Sign up for The 74 Newsletter to get notified about new reporting)

Below, a few of the sights and sounds of students taking part in the Los Angeles protests — as well as a few other images from across the country: