Thousands in Europe march against Trump's immigration ban

Donald Trump slapped a blanket ban on nationals of seven mainly Muslim countries -Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen

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London, Feb 5: Thousands of Europeans enraged by US President Donald Trump's immigration ban demonstrated on Saturday in cities across the continent, calling on Americans to "dump Trump" and vowing to fight his policies.

In London, an estimated 10,000 people turned out, chanting "Theresa May: Shame on You" to denounce the British prime minister's support for the new US leader. Brandishing placards declaring "No to scapegoating Muslims" and "Socialism not Trumpism", the protesters moved from the US embassy toward May's Downing Street office.

Protests erupt in Europe against Trump

In Paris and Berlin each, around a thousand people came out to protest, while smaller gatherings of several hundred people took place in provincial British cities including Manchester and Birmingham. Rallies were also held in Sweden's capital Stockholm and the Spanish city Barcelona, where some 300 people marched outside the Spanish consulate, according to media reports.

Earlier, protests on the days following the announcement of the ban had also drawn several thousand people across the globe, including in Australia, whose prime minister reportedly clashed with Trump in a phone call last week over US commitment to a refugee deal.

"We are here to say we don't accept hate," said 20-year-old American Michael Jacobs, co-organiser of the Paris rally, surrounded by signs saying "Refugees are welcome!"

In an executive order issued on January 27, Trump slapped a blanket ban on nationals of seven mainly Muslim countries -- Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen -- barring their entry to the US for 90 days. Refugees were also barred from entry for 120 days, except those from Syria who were blocked indefinitely.

However, on Friday a judge lifted the ban, a move which Trump condemned and vowed to fight. The White House argues the ban will make the country safer and efficient at preventing terror attacks. A Justice Department attorney has said since Trump's order, about 100,000 visas have been revoked.

Protesters in London heard a video message from Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who thanked them for "standing up for what is right" and said they showed solidarity with "our friends all over the USA who share our views and our values, who are standing with minority communities under attack".

The Guardian newspaper said around 10,000 people attended, while organisers claimed 40,000. More than 1.8 million people have signed a petition saying Trump should not be afforded a formal state visit because it would embarrass Queen Elizabeth II.

PTI

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