Downing Street demo against Trump’s Muslim ban: What women had to say

One girl, a refugee, broke down in tears

On the 30th of January, an ’emergency demo’ planned by Owen Jones was held outside Downing Street, protesting against President Trump’s Muslim ban.

The demo was planned in a tight time-frame, yet the event, advertised over social media, drew a crowd of 10,000 protesters.

Trump’s ban affects Libya, Sudan,  Syria, Iran, Yemen, Iraq and Somalia. The ban prevents citizens from these countries entering the US for a period of 90 days. It also suspends the United States’ refugee system for a period of 120 days

President Trump commented on the ban saying: “It is not a Muslim Ban and it is working nicely…we’re going to have a very, very strict ban and extreme vetting.”

However, the ban has been criticised as a ‘Muslim ban’ as it is only subjected to Muslim countries.

Theresa May’s State visit to meet with President Trump upset many, as she was seen as being ‘complicit’ with the ban, after failing to speak out against Trump.

I alighted at Westminster to get the thoughts of those protesting about the ‘unconstitutional’ ban and Theresa May’s visit.

Anisa, Activist, Goldsmiths, University of London

“It’s really important to me, it’s something very close to my heart as I am a refugee myself. What has happened is absolutely outrageous and I’m just here to stand with those Muslims who have been banned. I feel scared.”

Anisa discussed her Iranian heritage and the difficulties she has struggled with to feel “included” within Western society adding, “this previous year has been the worst for me, you start to feel ashamed of who you are when a man can diminish your existence and still be allowed to become president of the most powerful country on the planet”.

Laura and Lilly, Central School of Speech and Drama

“What Theresa May is doing isn’t what Britain is, and her being complicit with Trump is not what Britain should be and it is not what the people of Britain are. We’re in a position where we can fight this, Trump is not in power here so we have the ability to help and push forward and not be complicit in this, Theresa May is being a Coward.”

Lilly, an American who grew up between Virginia and New York, added: “For me, Trump doesn’t represent the America that I love and know and I want to be here because I want the true American voice heard, the American voice that welcomes everyone.”

Florence and Bethan, New College, Oxford University

“I think we’re stuck in between a rock and a hard place because we can no longer cosy up to Europe so we have to cosy up to the US instead. I think she should have gone to America but, I think not to condemn this ban is a disgrace and that’s what good friends are for; to tell them when they’re doing something wrong.”

Lucy, King’s College London

“His executive order talks about banning hatred but, really it’s just advocating hatred and putting it into law. And we don’t think it’s fair that refugees aren’t allowed in the USA, it just seems reminiscent of previous refugee crisis. I think that as a country, we have the influence and the duty to stand up to Trump.”

Julia, King’s College London

“Donald Trump is a joke and he should be opposed at every corner and that’s why I’m here if I could be here every day I would be. Theresa May’s actions in the United States have been disgraceful and she should resign. I loathed her [Theresa May] before all of this and I loathe her even more now.”

Harriet, University College London

“The thought of her [Theresa May’s] hands in his, and the fact that our country is being seen to endorse his horrific views and policies – I’m ashamed.”

Amina, McGill University

Bearing a mysterious sign, saying ‘who’s the thief’ Amina a half Canadian Half Iranian, said: “He’s stolen everything from us, he’s stolen our rights our right as women and my rights as a Muslim. I was born in a Muslim country [Iran] and then I moved to Canada and for this to happen is so tragic. He’s truly a thief, he’s stealing everything we have worked for as progressives.”

A recent petition was sparked urging Parliament to not grant Trump an official State visit. The petition has gained over 1.8 million signatures, and states: “Donald Trump’s well documented misogyny and vulgarity disqualifies him from being received by Her Majesty the Queen or the Prince of Wales. Therefore during the term of his presidency Donald Trump should not be invited to the United Kingdom for an official State Visit.”

Queen Mary University of London