Stock up on BECs, toilet paper and Goya products while you can because Yemeni bodega workers across the city are going on strike tomorrow to protest Trump’s Muslim travel ban. Buzzfeed reports from 12-8pm tomorrow, an estimated 1,000 Yemeni-owned (yeah, that’s how many just Yemeni bodegas there are in New York City) stores citywide will shut down to show their opposition to the ban, which several courts have already told the Trump administration to get the FOH with. It comes on the heels of the of the yellow cab drivers’ union refusing to pick up at JFK over the weekend in solidarity with the protestors. Yemen is one of the country’s on Trump’s ban list. A protest at Brooklyn Borough Hall is planned for 5:15pm too.
“This shutdown of grocery stores and bodegas will be a public show of the vital role these grocers and their families play in New York’s economic and social fabric and, during this period, grocery store owners will spend time with their families and loved ones to support each other; many of these families have been directly affected by the Ban,” according to the event’s Facebook page.
12-8pm on a Thursday might not be prime bodega time, but hey these guys still gotta eat and save up to install vertiginous staircases outside their stores to deter Trump in case he ever comes looking for them.
The protest at Borough Hall will take place in the back of the building facing the plaza. According to the Facebook event, the Yemeni-American community will rally there, where merchants will share the impact the ban has had on their lives and loved ones. It will begin with a Muslim call for prayer and public sundown prayer.
My Yemeni bodega has spoken pic.twitter.com/b9SAeNdkZM
— Amanda Mull (@amandamull) January 29, 2017
As we’ve seen before, New Yorkers will not stand anyone even messing with bodega cats. Can you imagine what happens when you mess with 1,000 bodega owners?
UPDATE 2/2: Amnesty International issued a statement today in support of the ban and encouraging people around the country to use the time to contact their Senator.
“President Trump’s Muslim ban has sent a chilling message to millions of American Muslims who are part of the fabric of this country,” Amnesty International USA Executive Director Margaret Huang said in the statement. “Today, we’re standing with the bodega owners and workers who are refusing to be intimidated and silenced by this cruel and unlawful Muslim ban, and we’re demanding that Congress step in and block it. The Senate must immediately pass legislation preventing the Muslim ban from going into effect”
Text AMNESTY to 21333 and you’ll get an immediate response patching you through on a phone call to your U.S. Senator.
Meanwhile, a supporter has set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money for the businesses the bodegas will lose during the strike. So far $2,000 has been raised; the money will either go to the striking business owners or a local community organization (we reached out to strike organizers to confirm what they plan to do with the money but haven’t heard back yet).