HUNDREDS of Yemeni-owned bodegas, grocery stores, and other shops will be closed down today to protest President Donald Trump’s executive order banning refugees and immigrants from seven countries with a predominantly Muslim population. Here’s everything you need to know.
Organizers have stated that shops will close their doors between 12 and 8 pm, and at 5:15 pm the Yemeni-American community will gather outside Brooklyn Borough Hall (209 Joralemon St.) for a rally.
A Yemeni immigrant and business-owner, Zaid Nagi, told dnainfo:
“The news hit of the executive order, the whole community was shocked and scared, they didn’t know what to do […] Then we saw everyone from everywhere jump in to protect us, to defend us. All over the Yemeni community there was this feeling of we could speak and people are here to help us and we have a voice”
A press release from Eric Adams’s office (Brooklyn Borough President), states that as many as 6,000 Yemeni-Americans own businesses in New York City and it is estimated that over 1000 stores in NYC are participating in the shutdown:
Yemeni grocery store owners across NYC are closing over 1,000 stores (!) tomorrow from 12-8 in response to the Muslim ban. Allahu Akbar!
— (((Asad))) (@DandiaAsad) February 1, 2017
According the protest’s facebook event page, the shut down will “be a public show of the vital role these grocers and their families play in New York’s economic and social fabric.”
Since the shutdown was announced organizers have set up a GoFundMe page, where it says:
“Donating what we would otherwise spend at our local bodega on a regular Thursday to give back to this community is the least we can do to show solidarity at this difficult time!”
What lasting impact the shutdown will have is unclear, but it does seem that the POTUS has few friends in NYC. Good luck picking up those last minute groceries in NYC, Mr. Trump.