As U.S. opposition mounts to President Donald Trump’s travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries, protesters here in Metro Vancouver are also making their voices heard.
More than 100 people turned out to the Peace Arch border crossing this afternoon to oppose the measure.
With signs reading “no ban no wall” and “no human is illegal,” the crowd chose the crossing, famous for its open gate, for symbolic reasons.
Orgainzer Jean-Michelle Oblette says he hopes to send a message to Ottawa.
“Saying we will welcome immigrants is actually not enough. We actually need actions, and we need to take a position against what is happening in the U.S., on the other side.”
Oblette says he wants to see Ottawa scrap the “safe third country” provision, which requires refugees to Canada or the U.S. to make their claim in the first country they land in.
Many attendees said they were there to fight what they feel is a growing attack on diversity, and felt the need to speak up.
Others, like Roaa Ramadan – herself Muslim – said they felt Trump’s rhetoric has emboldened racists.
“It’s a little bit scary you know when you go to school and you worry about whether things like that could happen, what happened in Quebec, here. And it just does make me super angry just because there’s a lot of alienation of the Muslim community, and it makes me feel like I’m different from everyone else.”
Last week, a U.S. Federal Court upheld a temporary stay on Trump’s ban, suspending the order for the time being.
The White House says it may yet take the case to the Supreme Court or draft a new executive order.
With files from Tanya Beja