Protest In Solidarity In Front Of The U.S. Consulate In Amsterdam, Against the U.S. Muslim Ban
By: Rose Hook /@rosemhook /February 1, 2017
My life as an American Expat in Amsterdam has opened a new chapter — grassroots community activist. Representing Netherlands, in solidarity with USA progressives, Muslims, immigrants, refugees (and women always). #NoMuslimBanAmsterdam
To my friends in the USA fighting against this kakistocracy — you are NOT alone! Europe and the world support you & we stand in solidarity with you. As many of you know I’m from Los Angeles, yet I moved to Amsterdam, Netherlands right before the 2016 election. I thought I was alone. Yet beacons of light find each other. ❤️
This was me yesterday standing in front of the U.S. Consulate in Amsterdam with other expats & Dutch demonstrating against the Muslim ban. #NoMuslimBanAmsterdam I take inspiration from all the beacons of light who are standing up to the darkness.
The world was shocked by the U.S. Muslim Ban, banning people from 7 Muslim countries from entering the United States, which also included vetted refugees, those with dual passports, those with valid legal Visas and green cards. Detainees were held for hours in the airports all across the USA. Others were sent back to the countries they had just come from. Others were told they couldn’t return to the United States. The chaos that ensured was something I’ve never seen in my lifetime. Both shocking and shameful. An Executive Order by the new populist President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump based on fear and hate; not based on any facts, and not due to any emergency or national security issue. In response it was wonderful to see outraged and concerned Americans who spontaneously rushed to the airports to protest and demand “Let them in!” and “Refugees and Immigrants are Welcome Here!”
I saw a post on Facebook for a last minute protest in front of the U.S. Consulate in Amsterdam and I quickly RSVP’d. Being over 4,000 miles from where I grew up, I wanted to show my support and solidarity for the people of the USA in the face of hate and adversity. We had expected just a few people to show up in tiny Amsterdam yet we had a large crowd of people, and people saw our protest signs and joined in our chatting of “Show me what Democracy looks like! THIS is what Democracy looks like!”
At the demonstration yesterday at the U.S. Consulate in Amsterdam I was asked by the organizer Rhon Reynolds to say a few words at the end.
I hadn’t planned on speaking so I didn’t have a speech prepared. I just spoke from my heart.
I introduced myself as Rose Hook, an American Expat who lives in Amsterdam and a group of us American expats started a grassroots activist group called Organizing for Change which is open to all nationalities, backgrounds & orientations as an inclusive group.
I spoke of my father, a veteran who served in the military for 20 years, who has passed, yet he’d be rolling in his grave at our country the United States of America — ordering a Muslim Ban that discriminates against refugees, immigrants with legal visas and green cards. And how I recently read a Jewish man’s story how the government told his grandparents it was only “temporary” which was a LIE. All 4 of his grandparents died in concentration camps.
My father met my mother in Korea where I was born as a naturalized U.S. citizen and we were able to immigrant to the U.S. and make a good life for ourselves.
I spoke about Org4Change and encouraged people to find us on Facebook. We will not be silenced. We’ve organized! And we’ve got our eyes focused on Bannon — pointed to my sign that said #NoPresidentBannon — with all the chaos it’s hard to focus — yet we will not be distracted.
And then I shouted up to the U.S. Consulate where the American flag was flying — And I hope they heard us today! (Met by cheers from the crowd.)