Hundreds protest at U.S. consulate in Toronto

Consulate suspended services on Monday due to the event

Protest at U.S. Consulate
Monday January 31, 2017. Two protesters hold up signs with slogans protesting President Donald Trumps new travel ban outside the U.S. Consulate on Monday January 30, 2017. 

Hundreds protested outside the U.S. consulate in Toronto on Monday morning to oppose Donald Trump’s travel ban.

They carried signs saying “No ban on stolen land” and “Destroy white supremacy,” to oppose the ban preventing citizens from Yemen, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Libya and Iran from entering the U.S.

Allison Murray, member of a refugee sponsor group, stood with her sign bright and early.

“I think it’s great to see like-minded people gathered together fighting the atrocity,” Murray said.

Murray said the day’s events reminded her of the 1960s.

“This isn’t much different,” she said. “All these problems we have in our society don’t just change overnight…. You have to keep fighting.”.

The event was quickly organized over the weekend after activist Dave Meslin posted a message on Facebook proposing the protest. Social media posts quickly got the message out to as many people as possible. The protest was scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. and continue until the early afternoon. As the lunch hour hit, more and more people showed up to show their support.

Former Iranian refugee Rasang Esfandiya said he came down to protest for the first time.

“It’s not surprising  — [Trump’s] following through with his campaign promise,”Esfandiya said. “Trump is not the problem. He’s just the symptom of what the actual problem is.”

Many at the demonstration viewed Trump’s travel ban as discriminatory and racist, saying they were worrying about family members and friends who are affected.

The protest was also used as a vigil for the six people killed in the Quebec City mosque shooting on Sunday night. A moment of silence was held for them.

The consulate was shut down Sunday night following the announcement of the protest.

“Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence,” an announcement from the consulate said.

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Posted: Jan 31 2017 2:26 pm
Filed under: News