Trump Immigration Ban Protest Targets U.S. Consulate in Toronto
A staged sit-in followed a terror attack on a Quebec mosque that killed six people.
Protests over U.S. President Trump's 90-day immigration ban have spread to Canada.
The U.S. consulate in Toronto on Monday was targeted with a peaceful sit-in by around 1000 protesters who voiced their concerns with Trump's ban on travel to the U.S. for citizens from seven mostly-Muslim countries. The demonstrators — toting signs that read "No Ban, No Wall" and "Help Refugees Escape War" — at around 8:30 a.m. sat down in the southbound lanes on University Street, directly in front of the U.S. consulate.
Similar action against the U.S. embassy in Ottawa is planned for Monday afternoon, according to organizers. The Canadian protests come two days after U.S. President Trump signed an executive order to impose his immigration ban.
Protests on Sunday in the U.S. against Trump's immigration and travel ban included demonstrations at LAX in Los Angeles, JFK in New York, Dulles in Washington and Logan Airport in Boston, and at the SAG Awards on Sunday night.
The Canadian protests also follow an attack Sunday night on a mosque in Quebec City that left six people dead and eight injured. Two alleged gunmen have been arrested, and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau in a statement was quick to condemn the fatal incident as "a terrorist attack on Muslims in a center of worship and refuge."
The U.S. consulate in Toronto on Monday suspended most consular activities for the pubic in light of the staged sit-in. "The U.S. consulate general will have limited operations and there will be no visa or American citizen services appointments on January 30, 2017," the U.S. embassy in Ottawa said on its website.
Around 9 a.m. in Toronto, protesters marched to nearby City Hall for additional speeches, before returning to the U.S. consulate at 10 a.m. to continue their protest until 2 p.m., according to organizers.
Canadian politicians earlier on the weekend condemned the Trump immigration ban. "To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada," Canadian prime minister Trudeau said on his Twitter account.
"We understand that as Canadians we are almost all immigrants, and that no one should be excluded on the basis of their ethnicity or nationality," Toronto mayor John Tory added in his own statement.