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'Today is a remarkable day': Scenes from the ACLU's victory against Trump's travel ban

President Donald Trump arrives aboard Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, January 26, 2017.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
President Donald Trump arrives aboard Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, January 26, 2017.

President Donald Trump's decision to impose strict travel restrictions on foreign citizens from seven countries linked to terror touched off a turbulent weekend of spontaneous protests.

As waylaid travelers were detained at airports around the world, the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit to free two Iraqi detainees at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport—winning an 11th hour ruling that effectively freed those being held at one of JFK's terminals.

CNBC captured the scene outside of Brooklyn's federal courthouse on Saturday evening, where thousands of demonstrators took to the streets to rally against Trump's order.


'The New Colossus'

Tom DiChristopher, CNBC

The crowd outside the courthouse grew steadily throughout the night. Protesters held aloft signs and chanted slogans. At one point, protesters began singing "This Land Is Your Land." A number of people began reciting part of "The New Colossus," the inscription on the base of the Statue of Liberty.

'Immigrants are welcome here'

Tom DiChristopher, CNBC

The emotional crowd called out a variety of cheers, and denounced Trump's policies. Some of those creative chants included "No ban. No wall. Liberty for one and all," and "love, not hate. Immigrants are really great."


'ACLU, thank you'

Tom DiChristopher, CNBC

The crowd burst out into cheers when someone emerged from the court to announce the judge had granted a stay. Protesters hugged one another.

On the periphery of the crowd, a small brass band began playing, and people began dancing. They chanted, "ACLU, thank you" and "The people united will never be defeated."

'Today is a wonderful day'

Tom DiChristopher, CNBC

ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero came out and addressed the crowd after the organization scored its victoy.

"Today is a remarkable day," he said. "We've shown today that the courts work."


Tom DiChristopher | CNBC

Romero stopped into the park outside the courthouse to address the crowd. Romero spoke in short bursts, stopping to allow protesters around him to call out his message to the wider crowd. That style was popularized during the Occupy Wall Street rallies in Zuccotti Park.

"What happens in the courts doesn't matter unless we keep up the pressure in the streets. Judges listen to cases, but they also listen to people," Romero said. "The Constitution is ours and we must demand our rights. Thank you for keeping the pressure on Trump."