New York, February 5
From London and Paris to New York and Washington, thousands of people took to the streets in American and European cities to protest US President Donald Trump’s travel ban, even as it was suspended by a federal judge.
The biggest demonstration by far took place in the British capital, where an estimated 10,000 people turned out, chanting “Theresa May: Shame on You” to denounce the British prime minister’s support for the new US leader.
Brandishing placards declaring “No to scapegoating Muslims” and “Socialism not Trumpism”, the protesters moved from the US embassy toward May’s Downing Street office.
In an executive order issued on January 27, Trump slapped a blanket ban on nationals of seven mainly Muslim countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — barring their entry to the United States for 90 days.
Refugees were also barred from entry for 120 days, except those from Syria, who were blocked indefinitely.
However, on Friday, a US federal judge suspended the ban, a move that the Republican president — who took office on January 20 — condemned and vowed to fight.
On the other side of the Atlantic, about 3,000 people demonstrated on Saturday in New York, Trump’s hometown where protests against the property magnate-turned-world leader are near-daily.
Activists and supporters gathered outside the historic Stonewall Inn, a landmark of the gay rights movement in New York’s Greenwich Village, to show support for Muslims and others affected by Trump’s immigration order.
Democratic Senate minority leader Charles Schumer led the crowd — which carried rainbow flags and Americans flags — in cheers of “Dump Trump”.
In Washington, hundreds marched from the White House to Capitol Hill to show their solidarity.
“Donald, Donald can’t you see, we don’t want you in DC,” chanted the demonstrators in the largely Democratic-leaning US capital.
In Britain, more than 1.8 million people have signed a petition saying Trump should not be afforded a formal state visit because it would embarrass Queen Elizabeth II.
“We’re going to bring this capital to a halt on the day he comes over. We are going to make it impossible for him to have a state visit,” Chris Nineham, vice-chair of the Stop the War Coalition, said.
The Guardian newspaper said around 10,000 people attended the London protest, while organisers claimed 40,000.
Elsewhere in Europe, about 1,000 people turned out in both Paris and Berlin, while smaller gatherings of several hundred people took place in provincial British cities including Manchester and Birmingham.
“We are here to say we don’t accept hate,” said 20-year-old American Michael Jacobs, co-organizer of the Paris rally, surrounded by signs saying: “Refugees are welcome!”
In Berlin, protesters rallied in front of the Brandenburg Gate. — AFP