Trump rally in Oban sparks debate
AN ANTI-TRUMP rally in Oban last week attracted both support and criticism from local residents.
The ‘ Argyll against Trump’ rally, demanding President Donald Trump end his ‘Muslim travel ban’ and the UK Government cancels Mr Trump’s state visit, was held in Stafford Street last Thursday.
Around 20 protestors gathered in the rain, responding to a Facebook page posted by Oban resident William Mohieddeen, a 30-year-old student engagement assistant for the Highlands and Islands Students’ Association.
Explaining his motivation, Mr Mohieddeen wrote: ‘US President Donald Trump has moved quickly to enact a violent, racist and misogynistic course for Government... and the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, is fully behind him.
‘This is not ordinary times - it’s important that around the country, as around the world, people who share the values of human understanding, friendship, care and solidarity express their opposition to Trump’s actions.’
On the night, protestors were invited to speak. Oban councillor Kieron Green began: ‘Trump is against everything we stand for in the town. We as a society cannot support him.’
Councillor Elaine Robertson added: ‘This is absolutely horrific. It breeds hatred and contempt of democracy.’
Another protestor, Alastair MacGregor, said: ‘If America calls itself the leader of the free world, it should look at itself in the mirror and cry.’
Councillor Roddy McCuish began by quoting an inscription on the Statue of Liberty, ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses’, and argued: ‘The credibility of this country is far more important than any trade deal. Some say it will not affect anyone in Oban. It affects us all.’
The rally drew an angry reaction from a passer-by, who began shouting and swearing.
One protestor, Mairi Stones, engaged the man in conversation, and said afterwards: ‘He was starting to get aggressive. I do not think it was the way forward to meet aggression with aggression. That guy is scared.’
The rally also drew criticism on Facebook as ‘factually incorrect’, ‘a total joke’, ‘a wind-up’ and ‘pointless’.