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The New Arab

Londoners trump the #MuslimBan

Thousands descended on the capital on Monday night [Getty]

Date of publication: 31 January, 2017

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Londoners swarmed the heart of the capital on Monday night, in an impromptu protest demanding the government cancel Donald Trump's state visit after his controversial #MuslimBan.
Thousands of Londoners descended on Downing Street on Monday night, for an impromptu protest denouncing Donald Trump's controversial 'Muslim ban' and calling for Theresa May to heed calls to cancel the US president's upcoming state visit.

'No hate no fear refugees are welcome here' chants echoed in the heart of the British capital, replicating scenes witnessed across cities in the UK and the United States.

"It's absolutely overwhelming to see the sheer number of people out in London, especially because they're not Muslim, come out in solidarity with refugees and our global community as a whole," a protester there told The New Arab, adding that there are plans to reconvene for a larger protest on Saturday.

Despite the cold, the demonstrations shut down entire roads in and around the Whitehall area, an iconic road which hosts major protests on the doorstep of 10 Downing Street throughout the year.

Hundreds of placards, many mocking Donald Trump, were spotted among the crowds as police forces supervised.  

The protest, which was organised by influential British journalist, Owen Jones just 24 hours earlier gathered thousands to stand against an executive order described as "immoral, unjust and unethical" by protester Mona.

"Trump's decision to ban those fleeing persecution, war and poverty -often a direct affect of US foreign policy - is reprehensible," she said.

Having said that, it's so refreshing to witness members of the world rediscover what it means to be empathetic," Mona said.

More than a million Britons signed a petition urging the government to cancel US President Donald Trump's planned state visit to Britain later this year.

The petition was launched on Sunday and garnered hundreds of thousands of hits in its first few hours and reached the one million mark early on Monday morning. 

The petition states that Trump should "not invited to make an official State Visit because it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen" after the travel bans came into effect.

However, the UK government has rejected the validity of the petition, describing it as a "populist gesture".

"America is a huge important ally. We have to think long term," a government source told the BBC.

Trump signed an executive order to ban refugees and travellers from seven Muslim-majority countries to enter the US on Friday night, sparking outrage across the world.

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