Three protesters express their heartbreak and hope.
— Michal Rozworski (@michalrozworski) January 30, 2017
Following an executive order so restrictive that it surprised congressional Republicans and staffers in the State Department and Homeland Security, protestors in American cities demonstrated against the 90-day ban on immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East, including refugees, Green Card holders, and dual citizens.
The ban caused chaos at airports in the U.S. and beyond, as customs officials and border security appeared unprepared. Further confusion came as the understanding of who was affected by the executive order evolved, and the Trump administration backtracked on parts of the language.
Spontaneous protests gathered at major airports, and there was a temporary victory when the ACLU earned a nationwide stay of the order late Saturday night.
On Monday, Torontonians showed solidarity at the U.S. consulate, which was closed in anticipation of the protest. At 10:30 a.m., police onsite told Torontoist they estimated
1.5 million 500–600 attendees.
Sadly, the demonstration felt more urgent with the murder of six people at a mosque in Quebec City on Sunday.
We spoke with some protesters to find out what compelled them to attend.
Why did you attend today’s protest?
Francis Kung, 31, Web Developer
“The events of the past week have been horrifying and heartbreaking. There’s not much we can do about it, but this feels like something, at least, to channel our energy and rage and sadness into something a bit productive, and stand up for the values we believe in.”
Rawan Abdelbaki, 28, PhD student in Sociology
“[This] is a start. People might not know what’s going on or what the effect is on Canada. But we have to start where we are. ”
Sharon Kashani, 23, journalism and marketing
“I think it’s unfortunate that America is shutting down the inclusivity that the West is known for and celebrates.”