A photo of a man holding a sign saying "Everyone deserves a safe place to call home."
Jennifer McLaughin

Someone told me when it rains for the first time in May that you should go out in the rain — that you will be blessed with good health the whole year through. This past May Day, I thought it would rain. There were so many dark clouds in the sky. I was thinking about the the rain as some of my fellow People for Fairness Coalition members prepared to march with some of the Miriam’s Kitchen staff and guests. We marched from Foggy Bottom to Freedom Plaza. As the wind blew our signs, we shouted out our slogans of support for our fellow citizens in the immigrant community and our Muslim brothers and sisters. Our activism became real to me when we reached the White House and tourists started to show their support. Some even joined us and began to march with us. We marched around the Wilson Building to let the mayor and city council know that we need our leader to stand up to Mr. Trump’s misplaced and wrong-minded beliefs about people from other parts of the Americas and other parts of the world. We ended the march back at Freedom Plaza with encouragement from people setting up for the rally that was about to begin there.

A photo of a man holding a sign saying "Equal protetion under the laws!"

Jennifer McLaughin

What really made my day was seeing people from all walks of life marching into that plaza. A short time later, one person after another took the microphone and spoke truth to power. A lot of them talked about how so many people are living in fear right now due to the recent wave of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids. Folks from the Muslim community praised the judges who stood up to Trump’s travel ban. And even more people spoke to the need for Mayor Bowser to take a strong stance to protect our immigrant brothers and sisters.

A photo of man standing around the freedom plaza

Jennifer McLaughin

Mr. Trump came under fire for portraying Mexicans as rapists and criminals. Then, just four days later, the Rockville High School alleged rape case that Mr. Trump used to incite anger against undocumented immigrants was dropped for lack of evidence. “We have concluded that the facts in this case do not support the original charges filed in this matter,” Montgomery County’s state attorney said at a press conference. As the May Day rally continued, still more people stepped forward to talk about the need for fair housing and to help each other. Black and White people alike spoke about how we can’t let anyone divide us or cast doubt on those we have lived with for years. Then we all came together and marched one more time to the White House and joined other community members in Lafayette Park.

A photo of a man  holding a sign saying "Power to the People with lived experience

Jennifer McLaughin