Almost 1,000 bodega owners in New York City are going on strike today from 12p – 8p to protest Donald Trump’s immigration ban, as reported by Buzzfeed yesterday. Yemeni Americans are heavily represented in the New York bodega scene, and many have family members still in the process of applying for residency, whose visa applications are now on hold.
“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,” the strike organizers wrote on Facebook. “During the shutdown, 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.”
They also plan a public call to prayer at sundown. This is a very big deal in the Yemeni community, as a majority of these bodegas tend to stay open 24 hours a day, rain or shine. This is a major statement, as they understand the impact financially for their business, but they see the need to do so in such an extreme case like this one.