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Demonstration held in Thetford against President Trump’s immigration ban

PUBLISHED: 13:43 30 January 2017 | UPDATED: 20:32 30 January 2017

People gather at the Thomas Paine statue in Thetford to protest about President Donald Trump's state visit to the UK.
 Left to right, Glenn Williams, Mike Pymer, Heather Pymer, Chris Harvey and Annmarie Collins. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

People gather at the Thomas Paine statue in Thetford to protest about President Donald Trump's state visit to the UK. Left to right, Glenn Williams, Mike Pymer, Heather Pymer, Chris Harvey and Annmarie Collins. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434

A peaceful demonstration against US President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration restrictions has taken place in Thetford.

People gather at the Thomas Paine statue in Thetford to protest about President Donald Trump's state visit to the UK. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN People gather at the Thomas Paine statue in Thetford to protest about President Donald Trump's state visit to the UK. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Glenn Williams, one of the protestors, has said the small gathering at the Thomas Paine statue on Kings Street, met as an “act of solidarity” with other demonstrations which are set to take place across the country today and during the week.

Mr Williams said they are against Mr Trump’s executive order which temporarily suspends all immigration for citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and against Mr Trump making a state visit to the UK.

Those countries are Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Iraq.

Mr Williams said: “I personally think it is going to be counter productive and will more likely cause an increase in terrorism.

“The simple fact is no domestic terrorism has occurred from these banned countries.

“What we are saying is we don’t not want Trump to come to this country, but is should not be a state visit endorsed by the Queen. I think even royalists would say it would embarrass the Queen.”

Some councillors from the town council also showed their support by joining the demonstration and holding placards including “build bridges not walls” and “no state visit for Trump”.

Councillor Chris Harvey said he thought the immigration restrictions were a “disgrace”.

“It goes against humanity and the individual’s freedom,” he said. “I really think it is bad. It is religious persecution. I am not religious and I would not stop anyone from believe in anything - it is their right.”

Mr Williams, 58 and who lives in the town, said it was “fitting” to meet by the statue of Thetford-born Thomas Paine - whose pamphlet Common Sense was an important influence on the American Revolution.

“We had it here because of the connection with Thomas Paine and the American constitution,” he said. “So we think it is fitting to be here.”

An anti-Trump petition to stop a UK state visit has passed 1 million signatures.

Another demonstration is set to be held in Thetford on Saturday, at 12pm, at the statute.

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