Durham University groups join Newcastle protest against Trump’s travel ban

By Sophie Gregory 

Students from Durham joined protestors at Grey’s Monument in Newcastle to march in anti-Trump demonstrations.

A wave of oppositional marches was sparked by the President’s controversial 90-day travel ban which bars citizens from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from entering the United States.

The demonstration, organised by Newcastle Unites and backed by groups including Newcastle Stop the War, North East People’s Assembly, Newcastle Palestine Solidarity Campaign and North East Stand up to Racism, drew an estimated 2,000 protesters.

Approximately fifty students from groups such as Durham University’s Amnesty International, Durham for Refugees, Durham Young Greens, and People and Planet attended the protests.

Katie Condon, President of Durham University’s Amnesty International told Palatinate: “It made me feel good to vent my anger and to see that there are a lot of people who felt the same way.”

Alannah Travers of Durham for Refugees also told Palatinate: “I attended the protest on Monday along with members of Durham for Refugees.

“It is disgusting enough to ban primarily Muslim citizens from entering the US, but the executive order has also halted America’s refugee system for 120 days and reduced the cap on the total number of refugees allowed to enter in 2017 to just 50,000.

“Personally I couldn’t be more ashamed of our Prime Minister’s lack of response to this.”

Organiser of the Newcastle protest, Daniel Kebede, said: “There has been a huge turnout to say we organised it in less than 24 hours.

“People are here to say we don’t want Donald Trump. We don’t want his hate, racism, Islamophobia, his sexism.

“More than that we believe America should be a welcoming country and so should the UK. Refugees are welcome here.

“It’s about challenging Prime Minister Theresa May, she should use her powerful position to say no, this is not okay.”

He added: “Newcastle has a strong tradition of turning out against the far right. The North East is a welcoming place, Newcastle is a city of sanctuary.”

Police and camera crews were present at the protest. Marches have also been organised in London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Sheffield, Oxford, Cambridge, Brighton, Leeds, York, Liverpool and Manchester.

Photograph: Alannah Travers

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