Hundreds In A Group protesting Trump's travel ban outside U.S. Consulate in Toronto
The U.S. Consulate General in Toronto has suspended services to the public today in response to a protest outside the University Avenue building.
The demonstration, which began at 8 a.m. Monday morning, has been organized in protest of an American travel ban on citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries.
In a news release issued Sunday, consulate staff said there will be limited operations at the building today.
“A large demonstration is planned in the vicinity of the U.S. Consulate General in Toronto on Monday, January 30, 2017. The Consulate will temporarily suspend services to the public and will have limited operations on January 30th,” the written statement read
“There will be no visa or American citizen services operations at the Consulate. The Consulate will attempt to contact all persons who have previously scheduled consular appointments to reschedule the appointment for another date.”
Shortly before 6 a.m., Toronto police began to shut down roads in the area around the consulate, located at 360 University Avenue, between Queen and Dundas streets.
On Facebook, thousands of people said they planned to attend the protest.
Refugees, many of them children, are trapped in airports and being turned back to a dangerous home.. because of their religion, their language, their skin colour,” a post on the Facebook event page read.
“For all those who believe in a compassionate world, the time to act is now. This is peaceful non-disruptive gathering, open to anyone. We are acting as allies, and not speaking on behalf of anyone, nor claiming to be a voice for this issue.”
On Friday, U.S. Donald Trump signed an executive order to authorize a 90-day travel ban on citizens from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.
The move has sparked protests around the United States and a demonstration has also been planned in Ottawa at noon today.
The U.S. Embassy in Ottawa posted a security message on its website on Sunday, advising U.S. citizens to exercise caution in the area around the embassy, where the protest is scheduled to take place.
“RCMP and local police will provide uniformed police to monitor the event,” the statement read.
Speaking to CP24 outside the U.S. Consulate in Toronto Monday morning, Zaid Al-Rawni, CEO of Islamic Relief Canada, said he is 'disappointed' by the ban.
"Intolerance is like a wildfire. Once it gets going, there is no stopping it. Suddenly today, you are not a good enough citizen because you are a Muslim. Tomorrow you are not a good enough Cristian because you are not our type of Christian. The next day, you are not a good enough Republican because you’re not our type of Republican. Suddenly you find yourself consumed with this mania," he said.
"The thing that is giving me heart is that people are standing up and saying, ‘No, no, no. This is not our values.'"