Article by AsiaPacificReport.nz
Video and images by the Pacific Media Centre’s Del Abcede. Video: Café Pacific
More than 2000 people have taken part in a colourful and vibrant “Aotearoa Against Muslim Ban” march in New Zealand’s largest city to condemn the “racist and Islamophobic” immigration bans ordered by US President Trump.
The protest rally was held in Auckland’s Aotea Square yesterday in solidarity with those affected by President Trump’s executive orders to implement a 90-day ban on people from seven Muslim majority countries and 120 day ban on all refugees, with an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees.
The Aotearoa Against Muslim Ban coalition condemned the US bans ordered by Trump.
“These border policies are racist, Islamophobic and unacceptable,” said Mehwish, one of the organisers of the “No Ban, No Wall” protest.“They continue a pattern of white supremacist immigration exclusion in colonial settler countries like the United States. Bill English refusing to call it for what it is – racist – is a dangerously weak response and doesn’t represent the people of Aotearoa.
“Globally, there is an increase in Islamophobia that marginalises and advocates violence against Muslim communities.
‘Scary step towards facism’
Fahad, another organiser of the protest, said: “Singling out Muslims and people from specific Muslim-majority countries is a scary step towards fascism.”
Another organiser, Nisha, said: “We should not see the executive orders in isolation. Deportations and immigration restrictions have been in place for years.
“Rather than seeing Trump as an exception to the rule, we need to question the political and systematic racism that treats minorities, people of colour and immigrants as the ‘dangerous others’.”
Aotearoa Against Muslim Ban calls for the New Zealand government to increase the refugee quota, oppose and divest from wars in the Middle East, provide adequate resources for migrant and refugee communities and condemn these racist and Islamophobic immigration bans.
Amnesty International in yesterday’s protest. Image: Del Abcede/PMC The antidote for “Fear, Anger,Hate”. Image: Del Abcede/PMC “Be brave”. Image: Del Abcede/PMC “Build bridges, not walls.” Image” Del Abcede/PMC