Up to 1,000 people gathered outside the United States Embassy in Ballsbridge, on February 2nd, to protest about President Trump’s executive order of a 90-day ban on people from seven Muslim countries entering the U.S.
The order created confusion on a global scale, with detained migrants stranded at airports and refugees being refused entry at immigration pre-clearance facilities.
Dublin and Shannon airports enacted the ban. There has been an outcry against the order in many countries, Ireland included, in forms of marches and protests at embassies and airport terminals.
There was a fairly strong gardai presence at the protest to ensure that traffic interruptions were kept to a minimum, but they did not intervene beyond that. The protest was a peaceful display of Dublin residents’ distaste for the foreign policies of the new Trump administration.
Organisations such as Impact, Social Democrats and People Before Profit also attended. Kevin Donohue, Chair of Labour Youth stated: “We have seen over the last couple of days just how far he is willing to go. He is talking about introducing religious freedoms and while doing so restricting human rights and human dignities. This is a very difficult time for the world and we have to stand united against these types of policies. We have to work against them because if we don’t we’ll find ourselves in a position where, very soon, everyone is under threat and everyone is under attack.”
Another aim of the protest was to convince Taoiseach Enda Kenny not to present the annual bowl of shamrock to the President in order to question Trump’s decision making.
The group who hosted the protest in Ballsbridge is United against Racism, which was founded in 2015 and is a membership-based, grass-root, democratic organisation.
Since the protest, Trump’s travel ban has been suspended by a trio of federal judges who ruled against it in court on the grounds of it being unconstitutional. Trump has vowed to submit a revised plan, but current drafts of the replacement travel ban continue to single out the same seven Muslim majority countries; Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia,Yemen and Iraq.
By Jessica Ellis