SCORES of people braved wet and wintry conditions to protest about a controversial travel ban on seven mainly Muslim countries brought in by US President Donald Trump.
A rally was held in Portsmouth’s Guildhall Square last night and coincided with hundreds of similar protests that took place across the country.
The event had been organised by Chantelle Burton, who runs campaign group Don’t Hate Donate.
She said she was heartened to see so many people attending. ‘We stand here united,’ she said. ‘United against hate and racism.’
The ban bars citizens from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from entering America.
Salma Algaroa, 19, from Somers Town, was at the protest. She said she was worried that her family would not be allowed into America as they are Muslims.
‘We should try and help Trump to understand that what he is doing is wrong,’ she said.
People of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds were at the rally – and many were waving placards.
Jacob McKenna, 11, was with his brother Charlie, seven, and parents.
He said: ‘It is really good that everyone has come together to stop racism and people like Donald Trump. I just hope everyone can be like this. If everyone was like this and there was no racism, the world would be a better place.’
Helen Fillmore, from Tennessee, said she was thankful to see so many people supporting her. The scientist, who is conducting brain tumour research at the University of Portsmouth, said: ‘It is a nightmare and I thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for being here.
‘I never thought that it would happen [Trump getting in to power]. It has been heartbreaking.’
A petition calling for Prime Minister Theresa May, who was the first world leader to meet the new US president in the White House, to stop President Trump visiting the UK has already attracted 1.5m signatures.
Yesterday, when The News went to print, in the Portsmouth South constituency, 2,988 people had signed the petition while Portsmouth North had seen 1,450 people sign. Fareham had 1,885 signatures, 1,510 people had signed it in Gosport and 1,428 people in Havant.
In the Chichester constituency, 2,699 signed and 1,719 in Meon Valley and 2,389 in East Hampshire.
But appearing at a press conference last night, Mrs May was adamant the visit would go ahead.