Pro­test­ers ob­ject to travel and refugee ban

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

NEW YORK/WASH­ING­TON: Tens of thou­sands of peo­ple ral­lied in US cities and at air­ports on Sun­day to voice out­rage over Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s ex­ec­u­tive or­der re­strict­ing en­try into the coun­try for trav­ellers from seven Mus­lim-ma­jor­ity na­tions.

In New York, Wash­ing­ton and Bos­ton, a sec­ond wave of demon­stra­tions fol­lowed spon­ta­neous ral­lies that broke out at US air­ports on Satur­day as US Cus­toms and Border Pro­tec­tion agents be­gan en­forc­ing Trump’s di­rec­tive. The protests spread west­ward as the day pro­gressed.

The or­der, which bars ad­mis­sion of Syr­ian refugees and sus­pends travel to the US from Syria, Iraq, Iran, So­ma­lia, Su­dan, Libya and Ye­men on na­tional se­cu­rity grounds, has led to the de­ten­tion or de­por­ta­tion of hun­dreds of peo­ple ar­riv­ing at US air­ports.

One of the largest of Sun­day’s protests took place at Bat­tery Park in lower Man­hat­tan, within sight of the Statue of Lib­erty in New York Har­bour, long a sym­bol of wel­come to US shores.

Demo­cratic Sen­a­tor Charles Schumer of New York told the crowd that Trump’s or­der was un-Amer­i­can and ran counter to the coun­try’s core val­ues.

“What we are talk­ing about here is life and death for so many peo­ple,” the Se­nate Demo­cratic leader said. “I will not rest un­til th­ese hor­ri­ble or­ders are re­pealed.”

The march, es­ti­mated to have grown to about 10000 peo­ple, later be­gan head­ing to the US Cus­toms and Border Pro­tec­tion of­fice in lower Man­hat­tan.

In Wash­ing­ton, thou­sands ral­lied at Lafayette Square across from the White House, chant­ing: “No hate, no fear, refugees are wel­come here.”

It was the sec­ond straight week­end that Wash­ing­ton was the scene of protests. Last Satur­day, hun­dreds of thou­sands of women par­tic­i­pated in an anti-Trump rally and march, one of dozens staged across the coun­try.

On Sun­day, many of the pro­test­ers left the White House area and marched along Penn­syl­va­nia Av­enue, stop­ping at the Trump In­ter­na­tional Ho­tel where they shouted: “Shame, shame, shame.”

A crowd that po­lice es­ti­mated at 8 000 peo­ple even­tu­ally ar­rived at the steps of the US Capi­tol, where a line of uni­formed of­fi­cers stood guard.

As the crowd passed the Cana­dian Em­bassy en route to the Capi­tol, pro­test­ers chanted: “Hey hey, ho ho, I wish our leader was Trudeau.” It was a ref­er­ence to Cana­dian Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau’s Satur­day Twit­ter mes­sage af­firm­ing his coun­try’s wel­com­ing pol­icy to­wards refugees.

Trump de­fended the ex­ec­u­tive or­der in a state­ment on Sun­day, say­ing the US would re­sume is­su­ing visas to all coun­tries once se­cure poli­cies were put in place over the next 90 days.

“To be clear, this is not a Mus­lim ban, as the me­dia is falsely re­port­ing,” Trump said.

PIC­TURE: AP

De­mon­stra­tors rally against US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s refugee ban at Mi­ami In­ter­na­tional Air­port on Sun­day.

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