Hundreds of protesters in Cork city centre filled a square to show their solidarity with those affected by Donald Trump's travel ban, writes Kevin O'Neill.
The protesters on Daunt Square also demanded that Enda Kenny refuse to travel to the White House on March 17 to meet with the US president.
The rain couldn’t dampen spirits as the crowd marched down Patrick St and back to Daunt Square, with cries of ‘no hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here’ heard throughout the city.
The protest was organised by People Before Profit, with representative Jim O’Connell just one of several speakers on the day who called for an end to the travel ban.
Members of Cork’s Somalian and American communities also addressed the crowd, outlining their opposition to the ban and expressing their gratitude at the solidarity shown by the numbers attending on the night.
“It was great to see hundreds of people march through the streets of Cork against the vicious immigration ban,” AAA councillor Fiona Ryan, said.
“None of the countries included in Trump’s travel ban were responsible for a single death in the US as a result of terrorism.”
Ms Ryan also called for An Taoiseach Enda Kenny to refuse to meet with President Trump in March. She said: “The collusion of Enda Kenny in this racist ban must be challenged in Ireland, in Shannon airport where immigration officials are already denying legal immigrants entry, and by refusing to ‘green wash’ the Trump administration by attending the St Patrick’s day celebration at the White House.”
Placards and signs told the story of the evening, with one American attendee using hers to tell the world that ‘that man makes me ashamed to be American.’
Others used handmade signs to show their support for Cork’s Muslim community.
“No to Trump’s dirty work” and “United Against Racism” were just some of the others that could be spotted in the crowd.
The Cork rally coincided with another at the US embassy in Dublin, which saw an estimated 1,000 people turn out.
Meanwhile, Angelina Jolie has become the latest celebrity to attack Trump, warning the US President that he is “playing with fire” by implementing his controversial travel ban.
The actress and UN ambassador fiercely criticised the decision to prevent refugees from entering America, saying the move would not make the country safer.
“Refugees are men, women and children caught in the fury of war, or the cross hairs of persecution,” she said.
“Far from being terrorists, they are often the victims of terrorism themselves.”
This article first appeared in the Evening Echo.