Huge crowds gather in Norwich to protest against Donald Trump’s controversial immigration restrictions
PUBLISHED: 08:10 02 February 2017 | UPDATED: 17:04 02 February 2017
Archant Norfolk 2017
About 1,000 people gathered at City Hall in Norwich last night to protest about the controversial immigration restrictions introduced in America by President Donald Trump.
Stand Up To Racism, along with Norwich Stop The War Coalition and the UEA Movement For Justice and other organisations and individuals joined forces outside City Hall.
They were protesting against the actions of the Trump administration and the executive order that has been signed which for 90 days bans travellers to the USA from seven predominantly Muslim countries – Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.
President Trump has also ordered a four-month suspension of America’s refugee programme.
Last night St Peters Street was awash with people carrying banners bearing slogans such as “Refugees Welcome,” “Norfolk Welcomes All Folk” and “#NoHate, #NoFear, #NoWall, #No Ban.”
The stream of speakers addressing the crowds provoked claps, cheers and chants such as “Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here.”
Julie Bremner, from Stand Up To Racism and one of the event organisers, said she was delighted with the turnout and thought about 1,000 people had attended the protest.
“I think like a lot of speakers reflected, it makes you really proud to live within such a great, diverse city as Norwich,” she added.
“I think it was really significant that we had Sirajul Islam, from Norwich Central Mosque, speaking. It was significant because that is the unity that we are talking about that is not represented by Trump.”
She said she was pleased people of all ages, and especially young people, had turned out to protest.
Among those to attend were Norwich couple Liz and James Ferguson, 33 and 38, with their children Mirah, two, and Leo, five.
Mrs Ferguson said: “Obviously everything that is happening with Trump is hideous and we want to help our children see that they should be positive and welcoming people. We also want to support Norwich’s support for everything that Trump does not stand for.
“It was brilliant to see lots of people here together saying positive things about sharing the world.”
Dr Vasudha Chhotray, a 44-year-old University of East Anglia lecturer, said: “We came to express solidarity with the mass protests that are unfolding all over the world against Trump and in this country against the ugly turn that this country has taken since the Referendum.”
Also with Dr Chhotray was Jules Robbins, a 45-year-old adult literacy teacher from Norwich, who said: “I did not get to vote in the American election but I would still like people to know how I feel.
“I do not think that Trump can hear my voice from here but by putting it with other people’s voices my hope is that he will have to take notice.”
Police shut the road to traffic while the protest took place. Insp Darren Brooks said that it was “quite peaceful” and one person had been arrested in connection with a minor public order offence.