Comment writers Bea Harvie and Alex Taljaard attended recent protests against Donald Trump and his Muslim ban

Images by Bea Harvie

On 28th January, President Donald Trump announced an executive order banning refugees from seven predominantly Islamic states from entering the US. Comment writers Bea Harvie and Alex Taljaard attended protests in Victoria Square.

I attended the emergency protest against Donald Trump which a mixture of anger and pride. Anger that we as a species had come this far, that scores of people were being denied to a country once famed for its open arm policy and acceptance regardless of nationality. But pride that the people of Birmingham were standing together with one voice to denounce the fascism rising in the western world.

The atmosphere of the demo was catching, and even though I knew none of the people around me, I knew we were all there because we felt the injustice and wanted to stand up in protest.

If one person shouts they can be ignored, but if many voices join together, perhaps we have a chance

My favourite sign from the protest said “Theresa May, if you’re looking for a ‘special relationship’ get on tinder like the rest of us”, but I think the message that resonated the most with me, was towards the end. I can’t remember the speaker, but a summary of what he said was “If you want a wall, we will be the wall, protecting them from you” and I think that is incredibly powerful, and something we should all consider.

I was lucky enough to speak to people who had particular personal insight into the plight of those affected by Trump’s destructive policy. Lucy Muddaris, whose father is an Iraqi national, held aloft a sign stating ‘MY FATHER IS NOT A TERRORIST!’ and told me how she ‘didn’t know how to begin’ describing the sorry state of affairs that those who were unfortunate to make Trumps list were experiencing.

Even though I am just one person, standing with a bobble hat and a sign, I felt empowered. It felt like more and more people were joining, crowded together to show our support for those we cannot directly help. If one person shouts they can be ignored, but if many voices join together, perhaps we have a chance.

Article by Bea Harvie and Alex Taljaard