The Blogful of Salt

NO Religious Registry in Spokane!

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In response to Trump’s Muslim Ban, Spokane came out strong to support refugees and religious freedom. On Sunday, January 29 th , hundreds gathered, with only a few hours notice, to rally in support of our refugee and Muslim neighbors. On Monday, January 30 th , City Council presented an emergency ordinance prohibiting city employees from participating in any religious registry. This was a preemptive action to one of Trump’s many extremist campaign promises—creating a Muslim registry. It passed 7-0. As I prepared to leave for the City Council meeting and give my testimony in support of the ordinance, I felt a sense of dread. I envisioned another long night at City Hall listening to a slew of racist and hateful testimony. It was another long night at City Hall BUT it was full of love, compassion, and support for our fellow humans. Only three individuals testified in opposition to the ordinance. There was a record turnout with nearly 300 individuals filling the council chambers and the gallery—many testifying, others signing in to show support for the ordinance. This strong representation of everything I love about Spokane—people coming together for the benefit of all—rejuvenated my spirit. The most powerful part of the evening for me was being a part of those who stood in support of testimony given. Watching so many stand up over and over again, for hours, reminded me of Spokane’s history of standing up against hate and discrimination. Spokane passed anti-laws stronger than the State’s in the 90’s, we come out in large numbers when our neighbors are under attack, 1000’s enjoy the Unity March and Pride Parade each year, we defended the freedom to marry, and we consistently fill council chambers to have our voices heard. Spokane also has a long history of racism. Sometimes the racist, hateful voices seem “louder” than ours. During the days ahead, as attacks on one group or another come, let us not forget that Spokane is best when we come together in solidarity not division, love not hate. Our voices are actually louder. We are the majority. Our wall of solidarity can tear down the walls of division they create. Let’s Rise Up, Resist, & Persist together.

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