Thousands march on London after week of global protests against Trump's travel ban

The organisers of the demonstration condemn the US travel ban as 'an appalling attack on human rights'

Niamh McIntyre@niamh_mcintyre
Saturday 04 February 2017 12:58
London protests against US President Donald Trump's travel ban

Thousands of protestors have marched on London for the second time in a week, to oppose US President Donald Trump’s ban on travellers from seven mainly-Muslim nations entering the US.

The protest comes at the end of a week where demonstrations in cities across the world called on President Trump to end the controversial policy.

As thousands were detained at US airports, and 60,000 US visas were revoked, protesters picketed American embassies from Jakarta to Rome.

An estimated 30,000 people marched on Downing Street earlier this week, and Sabby Dhalu, from Stand Up To Racism, told The Independent he expected another "massive show of opposition” today.

“Campaigners, including Muslim organisations, are coming to central London to send a clear message to Theresa May that Trump’s not welcome here,”

The organisation has called the US President’s travel ban as “an appalling attack on human rights” and said that it is “unacceptable that Theresa May has not come out and condemned this”.

Izzie Dobney, who is protesting today, told The Independent: "I just don't think any of us can stand by anymore. An important message I took from the speakers today was that years from now, when people ask us what we did during this time, we'd better have a good answer. It doesn't take a lot to show solidarity."

Kevin Courtney, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, told The Guardian that anti-immigrant sentiment was on the rise on both sides of the Atlantic: “We are already getting reports of an atmosphere of fear among some children in schools,” Courtney said.

“If you are a Muslim kid in a school in the UK, it’s a worrying time, with Muslims banned from a country with a president who is so unpredictable.

“It seems to me that Trump not an ordinary bad politician with bad policies on immigration. It seems to me that his policies are not essentially foolish, instead they are aimed at encouraging division.

Protesters have gathered in at least 12 UK cities, including Brighton, Birmingham, and Sheffield, where Natalie Bennett addressed a rally.

Protest outside Downing Street sees tens of thousands demonstrate against Trump's immigration ban

President Trump's executive order suspended refugee resettlement in the US for 120 days and barred Syrian refugees indefinitely. It also barred travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries - Syria, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Sudan and Somalia.

However, the Trump administration suffered an embarrassing setback on Friday, after a federal judge in Seattle temporarily blocked the executive order regarding the travel ban.

In Australia, thousands rallied on Friday after it emerged that Trump had described a planned refugee resettlement deal, which would relocate 1,250 refugees from the controversial Nauru and Manus Island detention camps to the US, as “dumb”.

Around 1,000 people marched on the US embassy in Sydney, while hundreds more gathered in Melbourne.

Australian Senator Richard di Natale said in a post on his Facebook page:

“Last night Melbourne said "No" to the politics of Donald Trump and the far-right in Australia.”

This is the start of a collective resistance movement as people from all walks of life come together and say no to hatred.”

Earlier in the week, protestors in the Philippines and Indonesia burned American flags outside their countries’ US embassies.

Neither country is in the list of banned countries, but Trump’s immigration policies could have a tangible effect on both nations.

Veronica Koman, who organised the protest in Jakarta, told The Associated Press:

“Indonesia is home to nearly 14,000 refugees seeking resettlement in third countries, and Trump’s ban will significantly impact their chances of going to the US.”

Filipino activists also demonstrated outside the US Embassy in Manila. Just hours after the protest ended, the government’s special envoy to the US revealed that more than 300,000 Filipinos living in America are at risk of deportation.

3,000 people are expected to gather in Paris on Saturday for a #NoBanNoWall protest, while in the US, demonstrations have been organised in Miami, Washington, LA and New York.