Ethnic Yemeni business owners who operate New York City corner bodegas and neighborhood delis closed shop in more than 1,000 locations Thursday in protest of President Donald Trump's travel ban on people from Yemen and six other Muslim-majority countries. The shops were locked at noon and remained shuttered until 8pm, the AP reports. The Yemeni-run small businesses are a part of many New Yorkers' daily lives, said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. As night fell, a raucous but orderly crowd of at least 1,000 people, including many of the shopkeepers, filled a plaza in Brooklyn to protest the travel ban that has caused travelers to be detained, sent back from the US, or stranded in other countries.
Haron Zokari closed his Manhattan deli at noon. He said his wife and baby are stuck in Yemen after almost completing a four-year green-card process. "We are trying to stay strong," he told the AP. "There's people there who are refugees and who are starving and running for their lives, so thank God we don't have it as bad as they do." At the Golden Deli in Manhattan, a customer told Reuters he was disappointed he couldn't get his usual pastrami and Swiss sandwich, but that he supports the protest. "This is like the best deli out here," he said. "Trump is a jerk." (More than 1,000 State Department officials have signed a memo protesting the travel ban.)