Edinburgh anti-Trump protest attracts thousands

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Credit: Craig Munro

A huge turnout saw streets in Edinburgh filled with people protesting President Donald Trump’s travel ban on Monday night.

Reports indicate that between 3000 and 7000 turned out to march from the Mound, beside the National Galleries, to the Scottish Parliament. The protest was organised by the group Scotland Against Trump, who also organised the anti-Trump protest at his Turnberry golf course in June last year, in order to oppose both the President’s executive order banning travel from seven majority-Muslim countries and the UK government’s reaction to it.

Speakers at the Mound included Maggie Chapman, the co-convenor of the Scottish Green Party, and Assad Khan of the Edinburgh University Islamic Society, who paraphrased murdered MP Jo Cox in his address, saying: “We need to continue to share our message that there is far more that unites us than divides us.”

Protests were organised around the UK two days after Trump signed the executive order, which has provoked significant controversy around the world. The order bans travellers, including refugees, from Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, Iran and Libya from entering the United States for 90 days, and from Syria indefinitely.

Also heavily criticised at the protest was the UK government’s response. The executive order was signed only a few hours after President Trump met with Prime Minister Theresa May, his first meeting with a foreign leader following his inauguration on January 20. The government’s official response stated that May “does not agree” with the ban, but stopped short of condemning it and calling for its abandonment.

Signs in Edinburgh on Monday night read “Theresa the Appeaser” and “Shame on you Theresa May!”.

Speaking to The Guardian, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “I said that while everybody understands that she wants to build a constructive relationship, that relationship has to be based on values.

“I think many people would like to hear a stronger view from the UK government about the immigrant and refugee ban that was announced.”

Scotland Against Trump is planning another protest against the UK government’s ‘special relationship’ with the Trump administration on February 11, starting at the Edinburgh North and Leith Conservative Association.

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