UK

Trump Muslim Ban: Here's How To Help People Who May Be Affected

There are ways you can help.

30/01/2017 11:25 GMT

Many Britons have  found themselves asking how exactly they could help support and show solidarity with people who might be affected by Donald Trump’s Muslim ban.

People around the world were outraged this weekend after the new president signed an executive order banning refugees from entering the US from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

The immigration curbs sparked chaos across the US as travellers  - one reportedly as young as five - were detained at airports and thousands of protesters gathered to campaign against the policy.

Nam Y. Huh/AP
There are many ways you can show solidarity with those affected by the ban; demonstrators converge outside O'Hare Airport in Chicago, above

In the UK, a petition calling on the government to ban Trump from making a state visit surpassed one million signatures and protests were planned around the country.

Here are some ways you can get involved...

1. Attend a demonstration

Thousands of people are expected to gather outside Downing Street and other locations across the UK on Monday night to oppose the refugee ban.

The ‘Emergency demo against Trump’s #MuslimBan and UK complicity’ will be attended by a number of speakers including Lily Allen, Ed Miliband and Baroness Shami Chakrabarti.

Nearly 50,000 people have expressed an interest in going to the Downing Street demonstration and it has received the backing of a number of MPs and high-profile supporters.

But there are also other demonstrations around the country planned - 27 at the time of writing. You can find out more information about your local demo here.

Ryan Kang/AP
Demonstrators gather at at Los Angeles International Airport to protest agsainst the ban

2. Sign the petition

It may have already reached more than one million signatures but this is by no means a record. The most signed government petition, calling for a second referendum on UK membership of the European Union, achieved more than four million signatures.

The Trump petition runs for six months, so there is still plenty of time to add your voice to the debate.

You can sign here.

3. Write to your MP

Find out who your local MP is and tell them how you feel about Trump’s policies.

Now that the petition on banning Trump from a state visit has reached one million signatures, the issue will be considered for debate in Parliament, so let them know if you support it.

You can find out how to contact your local MP here.

Bill Clark via Getty Images
An ACLU legal observer during the protest at Dulles International Airport in Virginia

4. Donate

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has already successfully challenged parts of the travel ban in court and is continuing to fight against it.

The organisation said it had received more than $24 million (£19 million) in donations over the weekend, compared to the $4 million (£3.1 million) it usually receives annually.

But there is still a long way to go in the fight, so if you want to support the ACLU’s work, you can donate here.

Singer Sia vowed to match up to $100,000 in donations to the ACLU and hours later, longtime Trump critic Rosie O’Donnell matched the “Chandelier” singer’s pledge in a tweet Saturday that carried the same “Resist” hashtag.

A number of other celebrities, including Hollywood producer Judd Apatow and Scrubs star Zach Braff, also pledged funds to the organisation.

On a wider level, there are a range of charities which help refugees from countries included in the ban, many of which are included here.

5. Learn how to help people who have suffered hate crime

There are fears this latest move by the US’ new president could spark incidents of hate crime in the UK.

While many have condemned such responses, some of us still feel unsure about how to act if they witness such an incident.

Here is a useful guide on how you can help:

6. Show kindness

Even if you don’t specifically witness hate crime, many people may have been left feeling alienated and threatened by the negative comments made about Muslims and refugees sparked by the ban. 

Acts of kindness on a one-to-one level - checking in with friends who might be affected and so on - can have a powerful effect by making people feel welcome and accepted.

 

7. Don’t disengage

It can be tempting to switch off the news and try to bury your head in the sand in the face of news such as this.

But becoming complacent and letting this sort of thing be normalised won’t help.

Try to take some time to read up on the issue, get news from reputable sources and perhaps even learn a few myth-busting facts that you can use if you hear people repeating lies about the situation.