Yemeni businesses close to protest travel ban

A group of Yemeni business owners shut down their delis, grocery stores and bodegas around New York City Thursday in protest of President Donald Trump's temporary travel restrictions on people from seven Muslim-majority countries including Yemen. 

Business owners planned the closures of about 1,000 stores from noon until 8 p.m., according to organizers.

They said they wanted to show how much their stores are a part of the Big Apple.

Organizers estimate there are between 4,000 and 6,000 businesses owned by Yemeni-Americans living in New York City.

A large, peaceful protest of the president's executive order began at 5 p.m. in Brooklyn. Borough President Eric Adams called for religious freedom, and protesters carried signs with slogans like "No Ban No Wall," "Justice For All" and "Make Love Not Wall."

Demonstrators took turns speaking to condemn the president's actions or to tell firsthand how his travel ban has affected their families so far.

One man in attendance, Raed Altaffi, told News 12 that he owns four bodegas around the city, which all took part in Thursday's closures.

"We are here to stop this guy from what he's doing," Altaffi said, referring to the president. "The way he's acting, he's going to corrupt this country."

Earlier protests broke out at John F. Kennedy International Airport and other travel hubs around the country over the weekend.

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