Photographer Nolwen Cifuentes was in Los Angeles when Donald Trump announced his executive order temporarily banning visitors, refugees, and green card holders from six majority Muslim countries, as well as barring entry indefinitely for Syrian refugees. She joined protesters at LAX airport to document the resistance.
Nolwen Cifuentes: It was very crowded [at LAX]. There were like 4,000 people and everyone was chanting. I went by myself, and everyone was really nice. The protest the day after the election was mostly young people, and we were all there for the same reason. But it also felt like, “Let's see what we can mess up” and “Let’s see what we can get away with.” At LAX, though, there were kids and older people, and it seemed more diverse. It felt a lot more organized, even though there was a point when everyone just sat down in the middle of the street and stopped traffic. But even then it didn't feel so chaotic; it felt more like a real organized protest. And even though it was a very hard situation — there are detainees there that can’t get released — there was somehow a positive atmosphere of hope: We’re all here for the same cause. We're all here together.
At the protests, you feel like you're sharing something with everyone there. You may have completely different views and completely different lives, but when you're there you feel like you’re all together. You feel like you're one with everyone. To me, being at the protests [is about] showing solidarity, and showing America that we're not okay with this new president and the policies he's enforcing. [I want to] document it because it’s part of history, and something that's important, that the whole world will see.
To me, being at the protests is about showing solidarity, and showing America that we’re not okay with this new president and the policies he’s enforcing.