Hundreds of people braved freezing weather conditions to gather in New York’s famed Times Square to rally against racism and derogatory comments allegedly made by President Donald Trump.
The Rally against Racism on Dr Martin Luther King Day follows a White House meeting last week in which President Trump is alleged to have described immigrants from Haiti and African countries as coming from “shithole countries”.
A host of elected officials took the stage to denounce Trump.
New York Congressman Gerald Nadler plans to introduce legislation in the House of Representatives to censure the President over the alleged racist remarks.
“He’s trying to say we can’t have those kids, those DACA kids – they come from the wrong places. And we can’t have people from the wrong places. What are the wrong places, well Haiti, Africa, we want them from the right places like Norway – what’s he saying? We want them from warm climates? No. What he’s saying is we don’t want brown people and black people, we want nice white people. That’s about as explicit as you can get.”
DACA refers to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an Obama-era immigration policy allowing individuals who arrived in the country as minors to remain legally – a programme the Trump administration ended last year.
Maya Wiley of the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board says: “We stand by our neighbours, who do we stand with – our neighbours. Where are our neighbours from? Our neighbours are from Haiti, our neighbours are from Trinidad and Tobago, our neighbours are from South Africa, our neighbours are from the Congo, our neighbours are from Ireland, we are the United States of America and no one, not Donald Trump, not Senators in the senate, no member of Congress can tell us who we are.”
Kathy Hochul, who is the Lt Governor of New York State, told the crowd they will continue to take the fight to President Trump.
Protestors in the crowd were visibly angry at the President who spent the day of service in honour of civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King Jr., golfing at his resort in West Palm Beach, Florida.
“He’s not an anti-immigrant, he’s a racist. Because he’s got two wives who are immigrants, one right now in the White House could barely speak English, so therefore he is not an anti-immigrant, he’s a racist,” says one protester.