Trump’s executive order: Rutgers protests, Jon Stewart weighs in
NEW BRUNSWICK -- Rutgers University students took to the streets to protest President Donald Trump's executive order restricting travel from seven majority-Muslim countries.
Rutgers president Robert Barchi was among those at the Rutgers Solidarity #NoBanNoWall protest, which spilled into downtown New Brunswick as protesters marched down College Avenue. According to prepared remarks, he told the crowd that the school is "sensitive to the particularly chilling impact this executive order has had on many in our Muslim community at Rutgers."
He did not meet the demand of protest organizers that Rutgers declare itself a "Sanctuary School," or refuse to cooperate with any registration system.
"Nothing about the recent executive order changes Rutgers’ policy affirming our students’ right to privacy and safety," Barchi said. "We remain steadfast in our commitment to protect the privacy of our student records and to provide a safe place for our entire community."
The march also drew some Trump supporters, who waved large American flags and argued with some rally participants.
Officials said the march was peaceful and no arrests were reported.
The Rutgers-Newark & NJIT Against #MuslimBan rally at Samuels Plaza in Newark is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. NJIT's Amnesty International chapter said that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy will be at the protest.
Other reactions to the order around the state include more from Hollywood and from politicians.
- Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert and the Princeton Council, in a statement, called President Trump’s temporary executive order "cruel, counterproductive," and contrary to Princeton’s values. "Everyone – from schoolchildren to seniors -- has a role to play in ensuring Princeton remains a welcoming place for all. Now more than ever, simple acts of everyday kindness can help to bind our community closer together at a time when outside forces threaten to divide us."
- Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson also weighed in and called the president's executive order "rhetoric" and unnerving. "Our collective concern is real, and we must come together as one community to demand that the Trump administration honors the ideals, values, compassion and diversity upon which this great nation was built. We must do this powerfully, peacefully and with dignity," Jackson said in a statement.
- Lawrenceville native and current Colts Neck resident Jon Stewart visited Stephen Colbert on CBS' "Late Show" on Tuesday night. Dressed as Trump, wearing a long red tie and a dead animal on his head, Stewart gave a list of potential future executive orders, including ordering China to send its wall to the United States and a declaration that he is "exhausting" to the American public. "I, Donald J. Trump, am exhausting because it is going to take relentless stamina, vigilance and every institutional check and balance this great country can muster to keep me, Donald J. Trump, from going full Palpatine, with the lightning coming out of the fingertips and 'fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate,'" Stewart said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
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