More than 1,000 people rallied downtown at noon on Sunday, Jan. 29, in protest of an executive order signed by President Trump just two days prior.
“It is the policy of the United States to protect its citizens from foreign nationals who intend to commit terrorist attacks in the United States; and to prevent the admission of foreign nationals who intend to exploit United States immigration laws for malevolent purposes,” according to the executive order, published by the White House.
The president’s executive order suspends all refugees’ entry into the U.S. for 120 days, bars entry of visa holders from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and bars Syrian refugees indefinitely.
Seen by many as an “anti-Muslim ban,” the executive order sparked outrage and protests across the country. While many major cities such as Seattle, San Francisco and New York saw protests at their airports, Eugene protesters rallied outside the Federal Courthouse.
Several members of the community spoke at the rally including Muslim leaders and a statement from a Rabbi.
Local activist Karen Kelsky, who organized Eugene’s “Rally Against the Muslim Ban,” was surprised by the turnout, according to a statement on the event’s Facebook page. The event page, which was recently renamed to “The Rebel Alliance of Lane County,” shows over 1,200 people attended, with another 2,100 who were interested in the event.
Because the rally was planned on such short notice, the group did not have time to procure a permit to march and planned to only rally around the courthouse. According to Eugene Police Department, about 150 protesters splintered off from the main rally and marched the wrong way on West 11th.
The protesters came across a vehicle with a pro-Trump flag on it, which they removed and partially burned, first reported by Eugene Police Department. Protesters also vandalized the vehicle and punctured a tire.
No arrests have been made. Police are currently investigating the incident.