Protesters took to the streets of Dundee in their hundreds on Monday night in response to Donald Trump’s “Muslim ban”.
They chanted slogans as they marched from City Square to the McManus Galleries, where they listened to speeches by human rights lecturer Edzia Carvalho, Dundee University campaigner Tilly Sherwood and MC Sean O’Connor, RISE activist and organiser.
Several police vehicles were on the scene but the event passed peacefully and officers confirmed that no arrests were made.
A Facebook group advertising the event was set up earlier this week, shortly after Mr Trump signed an executive order barring citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from the US for 90 days and suspending the refugee system for 120 days.
Pyla Bird, 18, an environmental activist, said she attended because she is passionate about helping refugees.
She said: “I was part of Dundee’s refugee help effort and I think it’s really important to make a stand. We need to keep up the pressure over the next four years.”
Suzanne Zeedyk, 53, a developmental psychologist, was also at the rally
protesting against the “disconnection and exclusion” of people based on
religion and culture.
“This disconnect is bad on a global level – ultimately it puts us in more
danger,” she said.
“Boris Johnson said the ban would not apply to British citizens, but that’s not the point.”
Nandan Mukherjee, a 39-year-old student from the West End, said: “I’m here to express solidarity with those protesting against Trump.
“I’m not a Muslim but I’m extremely unhappy with his discriminatory decision and I fear that the hatred will spread across the world.”
Other protesters likened Trump’s policies to Nazism and lamented the “strange” political twists the world is going through.
Rannoch Golden, a 25-year-old optical assistant from Stobswell, said: “I don’t agree with what Trump is saying, it’s a very old-world stance to take.
“We are living in strange times.”
A protest was also held in St Andrews, and thousands of people marched in Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Manchester, Cardiff and
various other UK towns and cities.
However, not everyone was in
agreement with the demonstrators and social media was awash with polarised opinions.
Some branded the protests “pathetic”, a “waste of time” and “embarrassing”, arguing that US policies are none of Dundee’s business.
Craig Stirling said: “There are worse things happening on your own streets.
“You should stand up for your own country and your own country’s issues before this nonsense.”
Paul Cooney said: “That protest is like a broken pencil, absolutely pointless.”
Donald Trump’s “extreme vetting” system, designed to “keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the US”, has been applied to citizens of Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Iraq, with dual nationals included.
The policy has created chaos at US airports and led to protests across
A petition to prevent Mr Trump from making an official state visit to the UK had gathered more than 1.5 million signatures by last night.