politics

How Ordinary British People Are Trying to Fight Trump's Refugee Ban

Beyond signing a poorly worded e-petition.

by Marianne Eloise and Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff
Jan 30 2017, 5:25pm

Top photo: Demonstrators holding placards during a rally against President Donald Trump's Muslim ban. Photo by Steven Senne AP/Press Association Images

This post originally appeared on VICE UK.

Over the weekend, hundreds of thousands of people took to America's streets and airports to protest Donald Trump's "Muslim ban." An executive order signed by the president on January 27 suspended resettlement of Syrian refugees indefinitely, suspended all other refugee resettlement for 120 days, and banned anyone from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US for 90 days.

The order, which Trump says is about "keeping the country safe," has already faced huge opposition, with some critics arguing the order is unconstitutional, and many others pointing out that it will have absolutely no impact on the country's "safety" whatsoever—that the US is actually more under threat from American gun owners than any other group. Either way, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) promptly fought to block the order, on Saturday managed to convince a federal judge to grant an emergency stay to halt the deportation of people with valid visas who had already landed in the US, and raised more than $24 million this weekend.

However, the fight is far from over. It's easy to feel powerless wherever you are (in the UK, it doesn't help that the prime minister has so far refused to condemn the Muslim ban), but there are concrete actions you can take to help the battle—here are some of those:

Donations

The ACLU has promised to take action against Trump and his administration's "war on equality." Over the past weekend alone, it raised more than $24 million from more than 350,000 people, and you can donate here to help continue the fight. Sia is matching donations to the ACLU of up to $100,000, so send her a screenshot of your receipt here. Venture investor and entrepreneur Chris Sacca is matching donations of up to $25,000; tweet him here.

As well as the ACLU, you could also donate to smaller frontline community groups that need the support even more than the ACLU does. CAIR, CUNY CLEAR, Muslim Advocates, Muslim ARC, National Partnership for New Americans, New York Immigration Coalition, Families for Freedom, Dream Defenders, and Black Alliance for Just Immigration are just a few, and there are more listed here.

Grimes is matching donations of up to $10,000 to CAIR; you can tweet her proof of your donation here.

An anti-Trump protest in New York. Photo via Flickr user mal3k

Protests

There are plenty of protests taking place across the world, and all are a good way of showing solidarity. But as is often the case with these things, it's unlikely Trump or his administration are going to pay much attention to what the people demand. To get as much as you can out of protesting, aim as much pressure as you can directly at your government. World leaders might not be able to force Trump's hand, but at least they have his ear.

In the UK, there's a protest outside Downing Street at 6 PM tonight; head there to have your voice heard. There will also be a separate demo at the US embassy organized by Stop the War Coalition, Stand Up to Racism, and the Muslim Council of Britain on February 4.

Many other protests are happening in cities across the country today, including Edinburgh, Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester, and Leicester. There are 30 in all so far; see here for a full list.

Other Actions

If you have a spare room or are otherwise able to offer people stuck in the UK a place to stay, you can do so here.

This petition aims to prevent Donald Trump from making a state visit to the UK. It's awkwardly worded and calls for the visit to be canceled due to "embarrassment to the Queen" rather than "Trump's bigotry and general awfulness," but it already has more than 1,000,000 signatures. Downing Street has dismissed the petition as a "populist gesture" and said that canceling the visit would undo everything May "achieved" in Washington. And yes, it is an e-petition, the absolute epitome of clicktivism. But seeing as it's already surpassed the 100,000 signatures it needs to be debated in Parliament, if you oppose Trump and the idea of him visiting the UK, sign the petition to show the scale of opposition against him and his policies. A date is yet to be set for the issue to be debated.

You can also write to your local MP and ask that he or she represent your views in Parliament. Here are some other ways you can contact your MP and the best way to go about it.

Advice

You can find an advice sheet for nationals from the seven banned countries here, which lays out if and how you should go about traveling to and from the US.

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