In London 30,000 or perhaps more demonstrated outside Downing Street. Many marchers brought homemade placards that slammed Trump – and Theresa May, who has invited him to Britain.
Sandra from Camden said, “It’s brilliant being on such a big demonstration. We can’t stop now. Don’t go back to your normal life – these are not normal times.”
Sanjit agreed, “We can’t sit by like Theresa May while this atrocity takes place,” he said. “We’ve got to protest now and show Trump the world is against him.”
Jacob was also on the protest. “My boyfriend is an Iranian national,” he told Socialist Worker. “He’s just been written off as of no value by the US.
“If you don’t speak out against this, then you are complicit.”
There were some huge protests outside London too. In Leeds and Edinburgh around 5,000 took to the streets. There were 4,000 in Bristol and 3,000 in Glasgow and Liverpool. Alex said the Liverpool protest was “called in less than a day and had an amazing turnout”.
A protest in Newcastle, also called in around a day, drew 2,500 people. “The crowd was largely young and the atmosphere was electrifying,” reported Jack.
Some 2,500 were on the street in Oxford, and over 100 also gathered in Witney’s Market Square. Julie said the Oxford protest was “electric” and involved “councillors, women activists, trade unionists, climate campaigners and the daughter of a Holocaust survivor.” A protest in Newcastle, also called in around a day, drew 2,500 people. “The crowd was largely young and the atmosphere was electrifying,” reported Jack.
Demonstrators chanted, “Theresa May, hear us shout – Muslims in, racists out.”
In Oxford the local Stand Up To Racism group, Oxford Momentum and Oxford University Islamic society called the protest. Elsewhere, individuals called the protests – and thousands came.
Dean Smith called the protest in Manchester with two days’ notice. “This is the first time I’ve organised anything,” he said. Some 10,000 people showed up in Albert Square, with thousands chanting, “Fuck Donald Trump.”
Sheffield saw at least 2000 outside the town hall at a demonstration. One speaker at the rally promised that “we are just getting started.”
Placards proclaiming “no human is illegal” could be seen along with “stand up to racism” and “Trump stinks.”
There were between 1,500 and 2,000 people on the protest in Birmingham. Protesters chanted, “Donald Trump has lost the plot – Muslims welcome, Trump is not.” A civil service worker there said, “I gave out 30 Stand Up To Racism badges at work this morning. Then we came as a delegation to the demonstration.”
Smaller cities saw big protests too. Lee described “monster crowds” of up to 5,000 in Brighton. Richard reported that some 1,000 joined a “very young, very loud and very political” protest in Exeter.
Even Falmouth saw 400 attend a protest organised through facebook by a Falmouth University student. The organiser Ben said, “If we can all cause this much energy around our disgust for Trump then we can really make a stand.”
Students from Falmouth University Anna and Rueben said, “We're so proud to see such a great turnout.”
Over 1,000 people demonstrated in York. Chris said the “extremely vibrant protest formed an impromptu march”.
“Huge applause greeted calls to bring the city of London to a halt if Trump comes to Britain,” he added.
The protests were a diverse mixture of people. In Leicester a protest was organised by the local group Leicester Against Trump and students from the University of Leicester. At the 300 strong protest there were trade union flags and the local Labour Party banner.
Yasmin Surti, secretary of the Federation of Muslim Organisations said at the event, “This sends out a powerful message to Mr Trump that people of all colours and creeds are as one in Leicester.”
In Hastings at least 300 people joined the demonstration. There was a lively atmosphere with chants of “Love Trumps Hate.” One speaker, Dominic Buxton said to the crowd that “we will not let Trump divide us.”
Kieran from Derby Stand Up To Racism said the Derby protest was the biggest the group has called – and called in less than 24 hours.
“The mood was angry,” he said. “This feels like the start of a massive campaign. We might be able to build a genuinely mass anti-racist movement if people feel this strongly even in small towns like ours!”
Nottingham saw a protest of up to 3,000. Some 750 people protested in Cambridge, 500 in Portsmouth, 500 in Dundee, 400 in Preston, 100 in Huddersfield, a few hundred in Aberdeen and around 60 in Coventry and Broadstairs.
Over 50 protesters rallied at The Square in Barnstaple. Dave said, “There was a sense of real disgust at the bullying of Trump. People also spoke about Trump’s attitude to women.”
Around 100 protested in Colchester, where a Syrian refugee addressed demonstrators along with speakers from Stand Up To Racism, Essex Green Party and Momentum.
1,000 protesters gathered in Cardiff and hundreds more in Bangor and Aberystwyth. US student Ash organised the Cardiff protest. She said, “My ancestors on my father’s side were Jewish immigrants seeking religious freedom.
“For us to turn away those seeking religious freedom now is hypocritical.”
Katie was protesting in Bangor. She hoped it would make “the person who delivered my daughter – a man from Libya – feel more assured that people don’t think the same”.
Up to 400 people joined the demonstration in Swansea. The Labour leader of the council, Rob Stewart, addressed the crowd along with speakers from Iraq and Syria, trade unionists and young people.
The crowd decided to march down the main street and was applauded by some shoppers as it passed.
Another 150 demonstrated in Leamington Spa while over 300 gathered at Warwick University. Protests outside St Andrews Student Union had at least 300 protesters calling for the President’s state visit to the UK to be cancelled with chants of “Trump out of Scotland.”
Activists also gathered in Newcastle Under Lyme, Dorset, Totnes, Hull and Maidstone in Kent.
More protests are planned today, later in the week and on Saturday. Activists are also building for demonstrations in London, Glasgow and Cardiff against racism on Saturday 18 March.
A week after some five million people joined Women’s Marches across the world, a new movement is growing rapidly. If it continues to grow it can push back the racism against migrants and Muslims that has poisoned politics for too long.
London:11am,US Embassy in Grosvenor Square and march to Downing Street https://www.facebook.com/events/1761835547477556/ Called by Stand Up to Racism, Stop the War Coalition, Muslim Association of Britain, Muslim Engagement and Development, the Muslim Council of Britain, CND, Friends of Al-Aqsa the People's Assembly Against Austerity and Help Refugees Worldwide Leaflet for this demonstration is at http://bit.ly/2kcu4YM?
Manchester: 2pm, St Peter’s Square https://www.facebook.com/events/376838699349548/ Called by Stand Up to Racism, Manchester People’s Assembly, Manchester Stop the War Coalition
Edinburgh: 11am, Scottish Parliament, Holyrood, https://www.facebook.com/events/807457542727070/ Hosted by Celia Gonzalez
Bristol:12.30pm, Water Fountains https://www.facebook.com/events/379485952428468/ Callled by Stand Up To Racism Bristol and Bristol Stop the War Coalition
Leeds: 12 noon, Victoria Gardens, https://www.facebook.com/events/1796045477387125/ Called by Leeds Stand Up To Racism
Sheffield: 12 noon, Town Hall, https://www.facebook.com/events/239216953198778/ Called by Sheffield Stand Up To Racism
Barnsley: 12 noon, May Day Green ,https://www.facebook.com/events/152305548605923/ Called by Barnsley Stand Up To Racism
Scarborough:1pm, Town Centre, outside the Brunswick, https://www.facebook.com/events/409532159383424/ Called by Scarborough Stand Up To Racism