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Students in New York City walked out of classrooms early Tuesday to protest President Donald Trump, his immigration ban, and his decisions on higher education—most notably, the Senate’s very recent confirmation of Betsy DeVos as education secretary.
With painted signs and popular chants, high school and college students rallied at Foley Square in lower Manhattan around noon, denouncing Trump’s decisions against banning immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries. The protest, organized by 17-year-old Hebh Jamal, according to the event page, happened to coincide with Vice President Mike Pence casting a tie-breaking Senate vote to confirm DeVos, a billionaire Republican donor who has never attended public school and lacks the experience to lead America’s public education system.
“Even though there was a temporary halt on the Muslim ban, we must remain vigilant,” the protest’s Facebook event page reads. “Focus on the next issue. Focus on the injustice that went unnoticed.”
Led by a group of rotating speakers, the crowd of hundreds participated in call-and-response chants before marching to 26 Federal Plaza, according to amNewYork. Speakers included 23-year-old Kashish Shamsi, who sang her protest anthem “Stronger Together.”
“Daily life cannot just continue as is, when others are suffering,” 17-year-old Selam Murphy, an immigrant and Hell’s Kitchen-area high school student, told amNewYork.
Watch more live stream footage from the protest here.
Samantha Grasso is a former IRL staff writer for the Daily Dot with a reporting emphasis on immigration. Her work has appeared on Los Angeles Magazine, Death And Taxes, Revelist, Texts From Last Night, Austin Monthly, and she has previously contributed to Texas Monthly.