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Manchester continues to march against Trump

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By Pierangelly Del Rio

Over a week after the banning of nationals from seven mainly Muslim countries was issued by Donald Trump, Mancunians gathered in Albert Square to reject the President’s executive order and show support for human rights and those who are affected.

The demonstration was organised by Stand Up to Racism Manchester; Manchester Stop the War Colation and Manchester People’s Assembly and follows the previous protest on January 30, which united over 8,000 protesters.

In the week that preceded Trump’s executive orders, chaos and confusion ensued across airports across the US and reportedly over 100,000 visas were revoked. The decision was met with a global backlash with several world leaders expressing his rejection towards the discriminatory rhetoric. Countless of protest and manifestations have taken place ever since. In the UK, a petition to cancel Trump’s upcoming visit collected over 1.8 million signatures.

In Manchester, the protesters gathered in front of the City Council at 2PM. Before the demonstration, students from Manchester Metropolitan University and Manchester University reunited in the Student Union of the later and marched towards Albert Square where they were greeted by the event’s presenters.

One of the speakers Nahella Ashraf was the first one to address the dense crowd expressing how Trump’s divisive politics have already caused a negative impact in the UK. “As a Muslim woman, I’ve already been attacked a couple of weeks ago on the streets of London (…) We have to have solidarity with Muslims that are being targeted and our brothers and sisters on the front line in the US. And also to Theresa May to say it’s not acceptable to have this special relationship with Donald Trump.”

A speaker from the Manchester’s Trade Union said the following: “It’s important to start building the resistance not just to Trump but to the forces that produced Trump, that produced Theresa May, that produce Marine Le Pen, and that’s because across the Western World, since the economic crash of 2008 the rich and the powerful have used racism and division to keep people distracted, to keep us divivded, to keep us beating our neighbors rather than fighting the people who the blame really belongs to.”

After the speeches, the march commenced as protesters held signs with messages including, ‘No To Racism, No To Trump’ and ‘No To Trump, No To War’. The crowds marched from Albert Square to Cross Street, chanting: “No hate, no fear, refugees are welcome here… You can’t build a wall, your hands are too small.”

The demonstration took a turn in Market Street, followed by Deansgate, John Dalton Steet and finally ended back in Albert Square to be closed by the remaining speakers.

Speakers took the opportunity to remind the public of important dates in which demonstrations will be held, which included Stand Up To Racism’s monthly meeting on February 11, and February 20 – the day Parliament will decide wheter Trump’s state visit should be cancelled or not.

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Pierangelly Del Rio

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