Sheffield Mayor Magid Magid is an interesting character with high hopes to change the system.
The highly talked and not that expected visit of Donald Trump to the UK has finally happened and he had probably the least welcoming visit a world leader has ever had in an international state visit. We know so far that a group of activists asked for permission (which was granted) to the London mayor to fly a gigantic balloon of a baby Trump wearing diapers, naturally ridiculing the US president as a form of protest for his highly controversial policies. Besides that, many protests have been going on in several cities in England and Scotland. Unlike most of previous US presidents, this time the Queen just had an informal meeting for tea at Windsor Castle with Trump as his equally polemic wife Melania. Now, with all this, we can tell that he’s not a person people wanted around especially in the English city of Sheffield, where its famous Lord Mayor declared a few weeks ago that Trump was banned from the city.
Sheffield Mayor Magid Magid is a character himself. As a Somali immigrant of only 28 years old, he became not only the youngest person in the position but also quite an interesting character with high hopes to change the system. Did I mention that at his inauguration ceremony on May he entered the chamber to the tune of Star Wars? Well, based on that and his very active role in social media you can tell he’s a very involved person who likes being approachable to people.
On July 4th (most likely not a casual date to do so), he announced in a chain of tweets his posture against Trump and his visit to the UK, declaring that he banned Donald Trump from Sheffield in the same way as the American president has banned Muslims from entering the US. He did his announcement accompanied with a really cool photo wearing a Mexican sombrero. Why? Not only did he banned Trump from Sheffield, he also declared that July 13th would be celebrated as Mexico Solidarity Day, in response to the pretty negative and aggressive comments the president has had towards the neighbor country.
As Magid mentioned in an interview to the BBC, he really believed that as political figures they had to be “honest, bold and courageous in our viewpoints.” Besides that, the Sheffield Mayor added that since Trump is an important world leader, it’s our job to “fight that hate.” To do so, you can see in the tweet above that he didn’t stop with that, he even called Trump a wasteman, which is a British slang for someone with very little merit.
Going back to the protest/celebration, many around the UK seemed to welcome the idea quite well after his announcement inviting a traditional Mexican dance group to perform and show the spirit. Particularly in Sheffield, many restaurants and locals joined the initiative and offered great deals and special activities for the Mexico Solidarity Day. Magid himself traveled to London to join the biggest march in Trafalgar Square but people in Sheffield really got involved with their mayor’s calling.
Besides that, he also tweeted a list of things people could do to join the protests against Trump’s racist behaviors, his separation of families policy at the border, the polemic travel bans, and his outdated takes on reproductive rights. These included joining any of the anti-Trump demonstrations throughout the UK, donating to charities and organizations focused on helping those affected by Trump’s policies, and raising their voices with their local government representatives to take formal actions against the US president.
Of course his banning of Trump is a symbolic posture he’s taking since there’s no legal way to actually prevent him to visit the city. However, the message is quite powerful and strong, and as he says, it’s up to us to voice our opinions and take a stand when we see so many injustices based on hate and racism going on in the world. As a Mexican, I can tell you I’m flattered and touched with Mayor Magid’s gesture, but I’d also encourage everyone not to be supportive just one day, nor only to Mexicans. We all should take that energy and attitude every single day of our lives with anyone in the world enduring injustice.
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