Many immigrants remained home Thursday and businesses across Boston, Cambridge and Somerville shuttered their doors in solidarity with the “Day Without Immigrants” movement.
The nationwide protest was aimed at highlighting the contributions of immigrants on daily life.
Similar closures and protests were scheduled in New York City, Philadelphia and other cities across the country.
The strike was a response to anti-immigration policies and proposals by President Donald Trump’s administration, including the construction of a border wall between the United States and Mexico and the travel ban on people from seven predominantly Muslim nations.
“Without us and without our contribution, this country is paralyzed,”flyers being circulated in advance of the protest said.
A handful of restaurants in Boston and elsewhere, like Anna’s Taqueria and Shojo, were planning to be shuttered all day, while places like Cambridge Brewing Company pledged to support workers who chose to stay home, giving them a full day’s wages and making a donations to immigrant advocacy groups.
While Eataly Boston chose to remain open, they warned customers to expect a long wait.
“We are an immigrant company, born in Italy, with many immigrant employees. Any team member who chooses to participate in the national “Day Without Immigrants” protest strike has our support,” the company said in a statement.
Lines were long in eateries around the downtown area where workers often head out to taquerias and sandwich shops for a lunch-break bite.
Boston-based Latino journalistJulio Ricardo Varela took to Twitter to share a message he received Thursday from a fellow Bostonian who was met with a bare-bones menu and a 50-minute wait for food when ordering lunch Thursday in the Financial District.
“When we got our food, it was cold— all in all their boycott was felt. Hope it is happening in other places. Impact was made,” the note said.
Shojo and BLR by Shojo will be closed tomorrow, February 16th, to participate in the Day Without Immigrants Strike. We are choosing to participate in solidarity with all immigrants as a reflection of our resolute belief in diversity . . The beauty of our location in Chinatown is its deep rooted history in migration, opportunity, and innovation. Our restaurant’s heart and soul are no exception. We hope you understand our choice to commit to this movement . @shojoboston and @blr_by_shojo will resume lunch and dinner service Friday, February 17th. We are open tonight!
The Chickpea is only here because of a dreamer who immigrated to the US more than 40 years ago. We stand with immigrants everywhere tomorrow— The Chubby Chickpea (@ChubbyFoodTruck) February 16, 2017