Socialist Worker

London protest rages against Trump

by Socialist Worker reporters
Issue No. 2537

Outside the US embassy in London

Outside the US embassy in London (Pic: David Gilchrist)


Chants of "dump Trump" echoed outside the US embassy in London tonight, Friday, as 2,000 people came to oppose the inauguration of Donald Trump as US president.

"We stand in the tradition of the civil rights movement," said Weyman Bennett from Stand Up To Racism (SUTR). "The majority is not on Trump's side, we can beat him.

"Trump is a bridge of reaction from the US to Britain. He's given confidence to Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage."

Protester Dorothy Guerrero told Socialist Worker, "There's a challenge here, what were previously political taboos are becoming the mainstream, they're in the centre."

Adam Taylor joined the protest. He said there was "a profound sense of wrongness about this man becoming president".

He was angry at Trump's lies. "He said he was going to 'drain the swamp' but his cabinet is packed with billionaires and bankers.

Movement

"We know we're not going to stop him becoming president, but this is about a global voice against a racist, sexist bigot. I'm here to be a part of that voice."

Speakers from the stage argued that Trump's politics need to be challenged with a movement from below.

Rage Against Racism

Rage Against Racism (Pic: Ollie Monk)


"The hate crimes that have gone up since his election have to be opposed," said Ian Hodson from the Bfawu trade union. "The hate and division from Trump, the Tories and the media cannot go unchallenged.

"In this darkest hour, by standing together we can change the world."

People weren't just angry about Trump's racist scapegoating, but came out to protest against his sexism, homophobia and climate change denial as well.

Catherine had flown in from Dublin to join the protest. "Trump is a self-confessed sex abuser," she said. "Misogyny does not even describe his attitude to women."

She added, "He also abused and mocked a disabled journalist at one of his rallies. We have to take a stand."

California

Two Black Lives Matter activists from California spoke to Socialist Worker about the anti-racist struggle in the US. "They can put up a wall on the Mexican border but we stand in solidarity with our Mexican brothers and sisters," said Hugh Knight.

Naima Omar from student SUTR said, "Racism is not confined to the US and Trump. We face a battle here too. Muslim students especially are facing the Prevent programme which spies on them.

"We have to go back to our campuses and build a mass movement."

Speakers including Lindsey German from Stop the War slammed Trump for his imperialist posturing.

Protesters were buoyed by news of the demonstrations in the US, and were hopeful that, despite the horrors of Trump, there could be a resurgence of resistance. 

Dorothy said, "The people that voted for Trump will be utterly disappointed. The question is where that disappointment will turn to."

After demonstrating outside the embassy, protesters headed off into the centre of London and marched down Oxford Street. It grew larger as it marched to well over 2,500.

Tomorrow, Saturday, will see the Women's March in London (12 noon, Grosvenor Square, London) in solidarity with a similar march in Washington DC.

There will be some 600 sister marches in the US and across the world. Taken together, today and Saturday are likely to see the greatest global protests since the opposition to the war on Iraq in 2003.

In Britain the next major mobilisations are the SUTR demonstrations in London, Glasgow and Cardiff on 18 March.

Singer Lily Allen came to the demo and performed a cover of Going To A Town by Rufus Wainwright: You can see her video based on the protest at bit.ly/2kptv0R

 


If you enjoy Socialist Worker, please consider giving to our annual appeal to make sure we can maintain and develop our online and print versions of Socialist Worker. Go here for details and to donate.

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.