Scottish cities hold Donald Trump travel ban protests

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Media captionLarge demonstrations were held across Scotland, including this one on Glasgow

Protests against US President Donald Trump's travel ban have been held in cities across Scotland.

The largest demonstrations were in Glasgow and Edinburgh with protestors also gathering in Aberdeen and Dundee.

In Glasgow several hundred gathered in Buchanan Street chanting: "Hope not fear, refugees are welcome here". A rally was then held in George Square

In Edinburgh, large crowds marched from the foot of the Mound to the Scottish Parliament.

Mr Trump has halted the entire US refugee programme for 120 days and suspended the visas of all nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries.

His executive order, signed on Friday, also indefinitely banned Syrian refugees from the US.

The move has been condemned by political leaders in Scotland.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon earlier told BBC Scotland that it would not be appropriate for Mr Trump's proposed state visit to the UK to go ahead while the travel ban was in place.

Prime Minister Theresa May announced the visit during her recent US trip.

Ms Sturgeon said: "I don't think it's right to have a ban that is seen to be something approaching a ban on Muslims, a ban on people because of their origin or their faith.

"And I don't think it is right, or indeed in line with international and moral obligations, to put a ban on refugees when I think it's incumbent on all countries to work together to try to deal with the refugee crisis."

The first minister said she would not refuse to meet Mr Trump, but told the BBC she would not "maintain a diplomatic silence" either.

Ms Sturgeon added that she would like to see Mrs May take a "stronger stance" on the US travel ban.

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Media captionTrump travel ban: Protesters speak out

Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson called on Mr Trump to rescind the ban, describing it as "simply wrong".

She praised the UK government for getting clarification on the status of UK dual citizens, but added: "I think at base, myself and many other people across the globe, including former Republican vice-president Dick Cheney, our solution would be for this executive order to be rescinded.

"I think that would be what we all want to see."

Ms Davidson has questioned whether the proposed state visit by Mr Trump should go ahead while the "cruel and divisive policy" was in place.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale also said there should be no state visit until the ban was lifted.

"It is heartbreaking that some of the most vulnerable people in the world are being turned back from a country that has a proud history of welcoming people from across the globe," Ms Dugdale said.

"One week into his presidency, Donald Trump is so far living up to our worst fears. He must be told in no uncertain terms that the vast majority of people of Scotland and the United Kingdom are repulsed and hurt by his actions."

More than a million people have now signed a petition to stop the president's visit to the UK.

But Downing Street has rejected calls for it to be cancelled, saying it would be "populist gesture".

Image caption Protests were held in cities across Scotland, including Edinburgh
Image caption Organisers of the Glasgow protest said large numbers of people were ready to stand up to Mr Trump's "racism and bigotry"
Image caption As well as protests in Edinburgh and Glasgow, anti-Trump events were also held in Aberdeen and Dundee (pictured)

The travel ban has caused anger worldwide as it came into effect over the weekend. Mr Trump said the executive order was about keeping America safe from terrorism and was not a ban on Muslims.

The "emergency protests" in Glasgow and Edinburgh have been organised by Stand Up To Racism Scotland.

Ahead of the protests, the group said: "They have been called in solidarity with everyone in the US who is opposing Donald Trump's executive order which targets Muslims and refugees.

"Last week's demonstrations across the world show that large numbers are ready to stand up to Trump's racism and bigotry and this is an urgent necessity."

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