Anger over Trump is voiced as Sister March takes place in Lerwick
A band of around 40 folk united against Donald Trump and took part in a women’s march through the town in the name of fundamental human rights.
The rapidly-arranged demonstration took place the day after Mr Trump was inaugurated as the 45th US president.
The American election has proved a catalyst for a grassroots movement of women to assert values which they argue “the politics of fear” can only deny.
Washington DC is expected to have staged the largest of the women-led marches, walking under the Sister March banner, which have taken place around the world. But Lerwick has made its contribution to the movement, too.
The town march followed a route along the Hillhead to Scalloway Road and South Road. The demonstrators went to the Tesco roundabout and along Lochside, before heading in along Commercial Road, up Harbour Street and returning to the Hillhead.
It was organised at short notice by Hazel Adamson, of Cunningsburgh. She said Mr Trump’s election to the White House had spurred the walkers into action.
“I just feel that Donald Trump is going to cause problems throughout the world. I feel the people in America are going to be really impacted by his policies.
“I feel it’s really important to stand up and say ‘I don’t agree with this and I need to express this in some way’.”
She added the message Mr Trump had sent out about women made the march particularly important.
“I think it’s important because of the way he’s spoken about women. It sends a really bad message to younger women in particular who are living in this world that has supposed to have moved on, yet America elects a President who says such awful things.
“I don’t want younger women to look at us and say ‘why didn’t you do anything? Why didn’t you stand up and say that’s not acceptable, that’s not right?’ I want to be able to say not everybody thinks like this.”
Ayesha Huda, of Trondra, said the event had proved a particular success, especially given that it was only arranged with about a day’s notice.
“We’d been watching what had been happening in Washington and globally, and especially in London as well and throughout the UK. We’re feeling very much in Shetland that we really want to stand up and make our feelings known,” she said.
“We’re very much against this hate rhetoric, racism and xenophobia, and the people in Shetland don’t share those values.
“At the very last minute on Thursday night we decided Shetland should have its own march, too.
“It’s been very short notice, and Hazel has done the bulk of the work in terms of contacting the police, and getting the [Facebook] page organised, and we’re just delighted that so many people have turned out given that, really, it was only 24 hours notice.
“If we’d had a little bit more time to organise it, I’m sure we would have had a bigger turn-out than we have today.
“We don’t believe in this agenda of hate, and internalising everything. We are a world community. Although we might be in a small island in the North Sea, we’re very much a part of what’s happening in the rest of the world.”
Trevor Jamieson was one of the men taking part in the march.
“I do think it’s a shame that the American folk managed to elect somebody that could be said to be unfit for presidency,” he told The Shetland Times.
“I think we are living in a world of, sadly, inequality. It would be a better world if more folk were equal, and there wasn’t the discrimination that seems to abound here there and everywhere – particularly in the States at the moment.”
Scalloway resident Chelo Cadavid said it was important to make a stand, adding that what happened in America would have repercussions for the rest of the world.
“I think it’s important that we march today because this is a stand for democracy and rights.”
She said the Sister March also made a stand for immigration rights as well as gay and lesbian rights.
“Given America is quite a strong country. .. whatever America does is going to have repercussions on us somehow. When America coughs, the rest of the world has pneumonia.”