Hundreds of people demonstrated in Hastings town centre on Monday evening (January 30) against US President Donald Trump’s immigration ban.
Around 300 people protested in town amid similar demonstrations that took place around the country in response to Mr Trump’s decision to halt all refugee admissions and temporarily bar people from seven Muslim-majority countries.
The President’s executive order has also attracted widespread anger across the world.
Monday’s protest in Hastings was organised by Aran MacDermott.
Katy Weitz, who lives in Brede, attended and said: “People responded very quickly and positively when they knew the protest would take place. I felt very angry and wanted to show exactly what I thought about Trump’s new executive orders and plans for him to come on a state visit in the UK.”
She said Mr Trump’s orders were ‘illegal, inhumane and frankly racist’.
Katy added: “We have a duty to speak out when one of our international partners enacts orders which are essentially inhumane, especially towards refugees. I was really proud to be part of the protest and see such a great number of people, who felt compelled to demonstrate.”
Aran said: “With just 24 hours notice, more than 300 people from all generations, came together to show solidarity with all those affected by Trump’s racist, xenophobic and islamophobic policy.”
Mr Trump’s order brings in a suspension of the US Refugee Admissions Programme for 120 days. There is also an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees.
All travellers who have nationality or dual nationality of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen are not permitted to enter the US for 90 days, or be issued an immigrant or non-immigrant visa. Some visa categories, such as diplomats and the UN, are not included in the suspension.
The order also introduces a cap of 50,000 refugees to be accepted by the US this year.
Mr Trump has said the halt on the refugee programme is necessary to give government agencies in the US time to develop a stricter vetting system and ensure visas were not issued to people posing a national security threat.
A statement by him on Facebook said: “To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting. This is not about religion - this is about terror and keeping our country safe. There are over 40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected by this order.”
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