By Katerina Tiliakou
Parliament Square was lined up with around seventeen thousand people on Monday the 20th of February, who demonstrated against the US President Donald Trump.
Even though Trump’s decision to ban refugees and immigrants, from seven predominantly Muslim countries in the middle east and Africa, has been frozen by the US courts, around 1.8 million people have signed an online petition requesting the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May to cancel Trump’s state visit.
During a joint press conference with Trump on the 30th of January 2017, May announced that Trump had accepted an offer from Queen Elizabeth II for an official state visit in 2017.
The original order prohibited people from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Libya from entering the US for 90 days. It has also suspended refugee resettlement for 120 days and forbidden Syrian refugees for an indefinite period.
The event was part of the ‘One Day Without Us: National Day of Action’ campaign to celebrate the contribution of migrants in the UK. It was also supported by universities, trade unions and art galleries, including Tate Modern, as well as national organisations, including New Europeans.
Steel barriers were installed around Westminster as mass demonstration marched on Parliament Square.
Protestors were holding signs saying: ‘No to racism, no to Trump’, ‘Stop Trump’s new clear arms race’, ‘We love immigrants. They make great scapegoats’.
Moreover, demonstrators had their arms linked all together as a gesture of solidarity towards immigrants during the protest.
Diane Abbott, Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, says: ‘We live in an era, where there is a dark cloud of racism and anti- migration. We have to support each other and we have to fight for our values. No place for Islamophobia, racism and sexism.’
‘One day without Us demonstration against Trump at the Parliament Square, 20th February 2017’. Photo by: @kat32pump
Dave Ward, General Secretary of the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU), says: ‘‘We need to come together. We should stand against Trump. I am sick of hearing racist comments like ‘trashy immigrants’ ’’.
People from all backgrounds and race, gave an emotional speech. Some of those were:
Talha Ahmad, a Solicitor, who represented the Mouslim Counsil of Britain, Dave Ward, General Secretary of the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU), Diane Abbott, Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, Fizza Qureshi, Director of One Day Without Us, Mohammed Ateeq, who represented the Syrian Solidarity, Maz Saleem, an activist and Independent Events Services Professional and many more.
The demonstration lasted for about five hours and ended peacefully without the police’s intervention.
Cover image: ‘One day without Us demonstration against Trump at the Parliament Square, 20th February 2017’. Photo by: @kat32pump