London [UK]: Would-be protesters heading to the Women’s March on Washington have reportedly been denied entry into the United States.
Montrealer Sasha Dyck was part of a group of eight who had arranged online to travel together to Washington. Divided into two cars, the group – six Canadians and two French nationals – arrived at the border crossing that connects St Bernard de Lacolle in Quebec with Champlain, New York, on Thursday, reports the Guardian.
The group was upfront about their plans with border agents and said, “We were going to the women’s march on Saturday” to which the agents replied, ‘Well, you’re going to have to pull over’.”
Following this, their cars were searched and their mobile phones examined. Each member of the group was fingerprinted and had their photo taken.
Border agents first told the two French citizens that they had been denied entry to the US and informed them that any future visit to the US would now require a visa.
The others were told to head back home and were also warned that if they tried to cross the border again during the weekend, they would be arrested.
Many similar incidents have been reported.
After an attempted crossing late Thursday, Montreal resident Joseph Decunha said he was also turned away. He and the two Americans he was with told the border agent that they were planning to attend the inauguration and the women’s march.
The group was brought in for secondary processing, where the border agent asked about their political views.
After being fingerprinted and photographed he was told that his two friends could enter the US, but that he could not.
Till early Saturday morning, a quarter of a million or more people had already gathered in protest at the base of Capitol Hill for the Women’s March on Washington to protest against US President Donald Trump.
The march organizers are still officially only expecting a crowd of 200,000 to 250,000 people – mostly women, but also many men – based on the number who have registered.
The event is expected to turn into one of the largest marches in US history and although it is not billed specifically as an anti-Trump protest, most of the causes represented are those deemed under threat from the new administration.