Last night, as the petition to ban Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK reached over 1.5 million signatures, cities across Scotland and the rest of the UK protested against the new US President’s travel ban on 7 Muslim countries.
At 6pm GMT, thousands of protesters gathered at the square by the Scottish National Gallery to lead a protest across the capital. As the temperature began to fall the mass audience began to form around the stage where fiery speeches were sounded by local politicians and society leaders.
Assad Khan, from the University of Edinburgh Islamic Society, gave an impassioned call for the protection of civil liberties and an end to discrimination for women and minorities. His speech was met with resonating cheers throughout the growing crowd: made up of up locals, tourists, students, professionals, politicians, children, teenagers and elderly from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds; demonstrating the vast scope of communities that are effected by the political landscape.
“I am deeply disturbed by the events that have taken place these last few days, this campaign of dehumanisation has to stop…It is our job to stand up for minority groups. We have a responsibly as decent human beings that we won’t allow politicians to divide them between ‘them and us’. If we don’t stand up for this, who else is going to do it?”
The procession continued from Princes street, down past Waverley Station onto Market Street where the march continued down the Cannongate, applauded by residents from the windows of their storied houses and flats, to the Scottish Parliament. Amid the chanting for Trump’s removal and protest against his concerning “ultra right-wing” politics, a lone piper began to play followed by drums and singing.
The protest was peaceful and a thanks should be made to local Police for guiding the march in it’s route and keeping press, protesters and the public safe.