February 7, By Hannah Wulkan
Several Forest Hills residents are putting together a rally to send a message of unity to those under threat from President Donald Trump’s executive orders.
The “Queens Stand Together Rally” is being organized by Community Board 6 member Ethan Felder and local activist Jamilla Uddin, and will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on February 26 at MacDonald Park.
“We are trying to have a solidarity rally where we bring together all of the many diverse communities in queens,” Uddin said. “We want to tell all those affected that not only is New York City a home and a sanctuary city but Queens is home for you, and you will always be welcome here.”
The rally will feature speakers from many activist organizations from throughout the city, and many elected officials have shown interest in participating, Felder said, though none have officially confirmed their involvement yet.
The idea for the rally stemmed from Felder, who said he was inspired by protests he attended in Manhattan and wanted to spread the activist spirit to Queens.
“I was inspired by the message of solidarity, and the speakers speaking eloquently in that regard, it inspired me to not just be reading the news and posting on Facebook but to take my beliefs in to the public realm,” Felder said.
He and several other Community Board 6 members began organizing the rally, and Felder recruited Uddin to help, given her experience with political and activist organizing.
The rally was just issued its permit yesterday, and Felder said he is excited to bring activism in to Forest Hills, which he said has not seen as much political action as other areas in recent years.
“Seeing the state of national politics and the Executive Orders calling for a wall and travel ban and just the hateful rhetoric at national level that cast entire communities and groups as disloyal and dangerous got to me as a Jewish person and American. I felt a need to be involved like never before,” Felder said.
Uddin, who works for the Alliance of South Asian American Labor, said she plans to continue working to bring people together to stand against Trump’s orders beyond this one rally.
“We will continue to let people know that they are welcome here and we will continue to fight, this is just the beginning,” she said.
So far the Facebook event has generated quite a lot of interest, with almost 700 people either attending or interested in the event.
For more information visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/259995814442728/?active_tab=about.