Demonstrators flooded Old Market Square in protest against Trump’s recent ban on people entering the US from several Muslim majority countries.

A crowd of more than 1,000 occupied Nottingham’s King Street after a Facebook event called  “Nottingham demo against Trumps Muslim ban and UK complicity” was set up.

  • More than a thousand protest against Trump’s immigration ban
  • Event organiser Niamh Shewell-Cooper hopes “local politicians will listen”
  • Green Party’s Richard Mallender: “This is one of the largest protests I’ve seen in Nottingham”

The protest went on for over two hours, with speeches from charity Nottingham Refugee Forum and  the Green Party. Organised by Niamh Shewell-Cooper, the 18-year-old took the initiative when no one else would.

“I put this event on because I saw all the different ones around the country, and loads of people were asking about doing a Nottingham one. So I thought if no one else is going to make one I should”, said the student currently on her gap year.

“I did not expect there to be so many people. When I created [the Facebook page] it had twenty people saying they were going. The next time I checked it was two hundred or something. It was kind of crazy!”

Photo by Joshua Hall
Protesters look towards the Brian Clough statue

Working as an intern for Nottingham Citizens, Niamh Cooper explained why the protest was important: “I think it’s important as it shows our local politicians that people of Nottingham do care about Trump and about the UK’s reaction to Trump.

“Trump has already done so many bad things. And as we’re at the start of the four years [of his presidency], I think that if we don’t take a strong stance now – and let these things slide – over the next few years what other things will we let slide?”

“I think this is one of the largest  Protests I’ve seen in Nottingham for a very long time”
Richard Mallender, Green Party

“I just hope that our local politicians will listen, will go back to our national government, and give our opinion. I hope that everyone who came to the protest will take something from this, and will go away and donate to charity and be pro-active.”

Among those giving speeches was Green Party councillor was Richard Mallender. A council worker with a degree in computer science, the environmentalist currently works for the Nottingham City Council.

Niamh Cooper, organiser for the protest, speaks to the crowd
Niamh Cooper, organiser for the protest, speaks to the crowd

“I think this is one of the largest protests I’ve seen it Nottingham for a very long time”, Mallender said. “I think the danger is the division. It’s dividing the world into “them” and “us”. It’s the kind of division that breaks up the world instead of having one united world.

“It’s breaking places in chunks, and setting them up against each other. It’s the kind of attitude that was typified in the 1930’s and 40’s.”

The reception of the protest was largely positive, with many chanting and making their opinions vocal. “I’m here in opposition to Donald Trump and the very fact he is President. The intolerance of banning certain Muslim nations. The rise of the far-right.”

Another protester said: “It’s always difficult to quantify change after a protest, but a protest is all about raising awareness, creating connections, and making people aware of their own strength and their own solidarity.”

Audio: Voices at the protest.

Twitter was also divided, with some praising the event and others ridiculing it.

Speaking after the event, Niamh told CBJ news “I think it went really well. We had an awesome turnout. Everyone seemed very enthusiastic”. Asked if she expected this, she replied “No I did not, so it was amazing!”

What did you think of the protest? Do you think it was right? Let us know your thoughts by filling in the poll below and tweeting us @CBJnews.

A collection held at the protest raised money for Nottingham Refugee Forum – donate here.

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