Not since the anti-Iraq war marches of 2003 have so many people, so passionate about a cause assembled to demand their elected politicians hear their voices, and enact their will.
This evening, Whitehall was blocked from Trafalgar Square to Parliment Square, Westminster Tube was blocked and the queues to enter the Government heartland stretched back some distance either side.
But this wasn’t a demonstration which had been on the cards for months, this was a hastily arranged protest organised by the journalist Owen Jones. The group’s page on Facebook suggested 33,000 people were going to attend, and from on the ground it felt like for once Facebook might be right.
Donald Trump's ban on people from seven majority Muslim countries has sparked protests across the world.
Donald Trump will be screaming FAKE NEWS at this, but the people there were united by one cause, united by one man, President Trump. Owen Jones arranged the “emergency protest” against Trump's #MuslimBan and Prime Minister Theresa May’s silence on the matter.
The Facebook page organising the march said “Donald Trump has imposed a ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US.
That includes people who helped the US army. That includes people on holiday trying to get home via the United States. That includes people trying to be reunited with their dying parents.
it also includes Britons with dual nationality. Like our national hero Mo Farah. Even the Iraq-born Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi.
Theresa May has decided to ally herself with Donald Trump's bigoted, misogynistic government. She has refused to speak out against Donald Trump's #MuslimBan - even when her own Members of Parliament are targeted. It is not only weak, it is a matter of national shame - disgracing our country across the world.”
With a raft of famous speakers, including Baroness Shami Chakrabarti, Syrian refugee Mohammed Ateek, Ed Miliband MP
Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Caroline Lucas MP, Tim Farron MPl Mhairi Black MP, from Friends of the Earth Asad Rehman, Lily Allen and Clive Lewis MP.
But the speakers seemed not to matter, they couldn’t be heard by most of the crowd anyway due to the sheer volume of people. But the message from the signs was clear, Trump is not welcome here for a state visit.
But I wonder if this chant could be heard inside Downing Street?
And people I spoke to at the demonstration felt the same. One suited City worker said that he was there because the US President was a “danger to all people, everywhere”. He was stood next to a group of anti-capitalist protesters who had very similar signs, which was a nice image as normally they would have been total opposites/
One thing seems clear, from the people I spoke to, and the speakers I heard this movement does not feel like a one protest wonder, already a demonstration has been arranged for Saturday outside the US Embassy, which could see numbers of protesters eclipse tonight.
Monday evening on Whitehall has never been so busy, I have a feeling Saturday morning in Grosovner Square will be the same...
Blogs | February 16,2018