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Rally for "Community Unity" at RNC Rejects Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016   

HELENA, Mont. -- A major protest outside the Republican National Convention Tuesday will address anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies. Organizers of the Community Unity to Stop the Hate march hope to fill Cleveland's Public Square even as Montana's delegates to the convention prepare to approve the party platform - which includes a call to build a wall on the Mexican border and subject foreign nationals to intense scrutiny if they come from certain regions associated with Islamic terrorism.

"We won't accept bashing of Muslims or Syrian refugees,” said Don Bryant, president of the Greater Cleveland Immigrant Support Network. "To close down legal channels makes it even more likely for people to come here illegally, and then we don't know who we have here."

According to Bryant, it is crucial that people from all faith communities get to know each other. All should be made to feel welcome, he said, so that those in the Muslim community will continue to work with authorities to identify potentially alienated young men such as those responsible for the terrorist attacks in Orlando and San Bernardino.

There have been several protests in Montana against the resettling of Syrian refugees in the state. Meanwhile, the Council on American-Islamic Relations used humor to call for tolerance, passing out gum packaged to look like medicine and labeled “Islamophobin,” a treatment for irrational fear of Muslims.

Bryant also called on RNC delegates to reject presumptive nominee Donald Trump’s attitude toward Mexicans. Trump has called Mexican immigrants “rapists," and questioned a judge's ability to preside over a case based on his parents' ancestry.

"We'd like to strongly denounce these anti-Mexican comments we've heard from Donald Trump, even regarding a Mexican-American judge,” Bryant said. "It's totally unacceptable."

The rally and march start at 11:45 a.m. Cleveland time - that’s 9:45 a.m. in Montana.


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