On January 30, hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the U.S. embassy in Ottawa, forming a human chain around the building’s perimeter in protest against the Trump administration’s directive to temporarily ban immigration to the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries.
— Claude photo (@pannetonc) January 30, 2017
The executive order, issued on January 27, bars the entry of residents of seven countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) into the United States for a ninety-day period, suspends the refugee resettlement program for 120 days, and indefinitely bars Syrian refugees from entering the country. The move has sparked protest around the globe, and already impacted thousands of ordinary travelers.
In Toronto, activists organized an early morning sit-in outside the U.S. consulate, where the crowd quickly spilled out onto the street as several hundred more protestors, wielding signs and slogans, joined the demonstration. “I can barely find the words for how angry and pained I am that Donald Trump [,] with one executive order [,] has spit on the things that were the very foundations of American democracy,” Anne Rubenstein, an American historian teaching at Toronto’s York University, told the Globe and Mail.
— Sam Khanlari (@khanlari) January 31, 2017
Many of those attending also expressed sympathy for the victims and families of those gunned down at a Quebec City mosque in a right-wing terrorist attack on January 29. The suspect, a twenty-seven-year old white male now in custody, killed six and injured dozens more as they prayed. The next morning, Toronto Star columnist Edward Keenan described the scene at the U.S. Consulate. For a moment, “those assembled said nothing, the members of what had been a noisy crowd letting the silence speak as the seconds ticked on. Cars in traffic held up by the event did not honk. People bowed their heads.”