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We Must Stand Together For All The Women Insulted And All The Desperate Refugees Spurned By President Trump

30/01/2017 21:17
Victoria Jones - PA Images via Getty Images

This blog is an unedited transcript of a speech delivered by Baroness Chakrabarti at a demonstration against Donald Trump in Westminster, Monday 30 January

Friends,

My name is Shami Chakrabarti. I am a human rights lawyer and campaigner and I am Labour's Shadow Attorney General.

It is in sadness and solidarity that we come together this evening. Solidarity with so many innocent people from seven predominantly Muslim countries that the new US President has chosen to single out for discrimination, stigma and abuse. They include, amongst others Hameed Darwesh an Iraqi interpreter who served the US after the invasion of his homeland and is credited with helping to keep many US soldiers alive. After release by a Federal Court Judge on Saturday, Mr Darwesh remarked:

"This is the soul of America. This is what pushed me to leave my country and come here."

We also stand in solidarity with so many brave and humane Americans, including members of the ACLU. My friend Anthony Romero is it's director. This is what he said of the Trump Executive Order:

"This effort is not just unconstitutional and unamerican and wrong-headed, we think it's also something that will go down in history as one of the worst moments for American Foreign policy."

But I also hope we stand together for all the world's women who the President has insulted and all the desperate refugees that he would spurn. So let me leave you with the words of a great American woman, whose 1883 poem The New Colossus adorns that great symbol of the USA that is the Statue of Liberty:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles, From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbour that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp! cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp behind the golden door!

Baroness Chakrabarti is a Labour peer in the House of Lords and the Shadow Attorney General

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