Brighton city centre was brought to a standstill tonight as an estimated 2,000 people took to the streets to peacefully protest US President Donald Trump’s ban on people from seven majority-Muslim countries entering the States.
— Hannah (@mediasuicide) January 30, 2017
The rally at Brighton Town Hall in Bartholomew Square started at 6pm, which had to be closed to people coming in when the crowds swelled to 2,000.
Following that, about 1,500 of the demonstrators marched to Brighton Station, leading Brighton and Hove Police to warn motorists to avoid the area.
Speakers at the rally included Brighton councillor Emma Daniel who said: “What message do we in Brighton and Hove have for Trump the homophobe, Trump the misogynist, Trump the racist – and make no mistake – Trump the fascist
“We have this message – love trumps hate.
“As a woman, I know that this hatred leads to murder. We lost our own sister, Jo Cox, to bloody nationalism.
“We will remember her words tonight and say them with pride: ‘We have more in common that that which divides us.’
“We will not stand by, we will stand up.”
Cllr Daniel and other activists also raised £360 for the Brighton and Hove Racial Harassment Forum, with Green Cllr, Mayor Pete West agreeing to lock the donations away in his office.
The crowd was also addressed by co-chair of the Brighton and Hove Green Party Davy Jones who said: “Friends, we stand here tonight at a turning point in history demonstrating for the kind of world we want to live in.
“A future where we are all equal, not a future where some of our friends, neighbours and fellow citizens of the world are banned because of their religion, the colour of their skin, because they are a convenient scapegoat, because the President of the United States is a bully, a misogynist and a racist.
“I’ve been around in politics for many years and these are the darkest days I can remember. It’s not just Donald Trump we face.
“Dangerous authoritarian reactionaries are in the ascendancy around the globe from Turkey to the Philippines, from Hungary to Russia.
“Our opponents preach misogyny, racism, torture and they deny climate change and all the while they strengthen their reactionary axis.”
Protester Daniel Kane, an American academic who has lived in Brighton for ten years, said: “Trump has created a global movement, despite his desire to keep America first and transform the United States into a fortress.
“He has inspired people around the globe to stand up against this completely absurd and irrational effort of his to arbitrarily stop entire nations from coming to the United States.”
A number of police officers were at the peaceful protest which started at 5.15pm outside the town hall and then assisted around 1,500 people who decided to then march along North Road towards the city railway station at 7.40pm.
Superintendent Lawrence Hobbs said: “We have been talking to the organisers and have officers there to help facilitate a peaceful protest, whilst trying to minimise any inconvenience to the community.
“We did have to close North Road to allow those who wanted to march to move through the city and this did cause some disruption to motorists and buses.
“The march has been mainly peaceful and there have been no arrests. We would like to thank everyone for their patience.”
— Brighton&Hove Police (@BtonHovePolice) January 30, 2017
The Brighton protest was one of dozens organised around the country, all of which saw hundreds or thousands of people gathering to protest the Muslim ban.
In London, Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas was one of several speakers addressing many thousands of people who had filled Whitehall, including Baroness Shami Chakrabati and singer Lily Allen.
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