On Monday 30 January, a group of around 200 students and staff from UWC Atlantic College went to Cardiff to join the peaceful demonstration against Donald Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban’ in the US and Theresa May’s refusal to speak out against his actions. I first found out about the protest on social media, only a day before it was planned to happen. Then I asked a couple of friends if they wanted to join, and it just caught on. Soon there was a sign down sheet online and over 180 students were planning on coming. People moved their activities to prioritise the protest at a day’s notice. I think it really shows how much the student body here is passionate about making their voices heard. Everyone was and still is so outraged by Donald Trump’s recent policies, specifically the Muslim ban, which will affect many people at the college, especially those who hoped to study in the United States. As a sign of solidarity, we took to the streets to protest. We believe that in times of injustice, to be impartial is to choose the side of the oppressor, so we took action.
Everyone made banners, with slogans such as 'Build bridges, not walls', 'No ban, no walls, no hate' and 'No human is illegal'. At the protest, there was a great sense of community spirit, everyone coming together to unite for a common goal; something we believe is right. We signed petitions, held banners and chanted our message as we walked down the streets of Cardiff, along with hundreds of other peaceful protesters. It was very inspiring, empowering and effective to do this as a community and I hope for more positive action in the future.
There are other protests that I have seen being planned, similarly opposing Trump and the UK’s complicity. I hope to try and organise more student demonstrations as I feel it is very important for us to cooperate with local communities, trying to make a difference. This protest opened our eyes to the new possibilities we have as Atlantic College students; how we can act more to live the mission in our daily lives.
Bridget Finn (UWC Atlantic College), class of 2018 from the UK