Socialist Worker

Rage erupts across Britain as tens of thousands join demos

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2539

People take to the streets in London

People take to the streets in London (Pic: Socialist Worker)


Chants of, “Dump Trump” and, “Shame on May” rang out through towns and cities across Britain as tens of thousands joined protests on Monday night.

The 100,000 people who joined the Women’s March in London started the resistance.

The protests against the Muslim ban have pulled even more people into the rising movement against Trump.

Sanjit was one of the thousands of first-time protesters who joined the protest of 30,000 or more in London—though it was so packed it was hard to count.

“We can’t sit back while this atrocity is happening,” he told Socialist Worker.

“I’ve walked past demonstrations before, but this is the first one I’ve taken part in.”

Urgency

A sense of urgency filled the air as people kept streaming onto Whitehall. Maize, another first-time protester, added, “I don’t know how much protesting will achieve, but I want to be on the right side of history.”

The same was true in town after town and city after city (see right).

In Manchester some 10,000 gathered outside the town hall chanting, “Refugees in, Theresa May out”.

Neil Terry was one of 5,000 people who protested in Leeds.

The protest in Leeds

The protest in Leeds (Pic: Neil Terry)


He said, “It was mostly young, men and women and multiracial—people are uniting against our common enemies Trump and May.”

And Jules from Oxford said the atmosphere there “was electric”.

Many people had come straight from work.

One civil service worker in Birmingham said, “I gave out 30 Stand Up To Racism badges at work this morning, then we came as a delegation to the demonstration.”

For George, a student at Queen Mary University in east London, “It’s not just about Trump—this is about Theresa May too. Her refusal to stand against him is disgusting.”

Many said the British government was being “cowardly”. For Alice in London, May is a “kiss-ass putting trade deals ahead of morals”.

Racism

Others pointed to May’s own racism and bigotry. As Rahma, a university student in London, said, “Trump’s Muslim ban is legitimising racism.

“The British government is not speaking up—but if we don’t condemn it, it will happen here.”

A large number of homemade placards showed solidarity with Muslims.

Zara Mohammed from Muslim student organisation Fosis told the crowd in Glasgow it was “absolutely inspiring to see so many people across Britain protesting and saying we will not accept Trump”.

Some people are starting to point to the bigger problem of the system.

Student Aisha said, “The countries on Trump’s list are ones that the US is already bombing—it’s part of creating the problem.”

It’s now essential to keep up the fight.

Emily, a sixth form student from west London, said, “We’re here to voice our opinion and we’ll be doing the same on Saturday’s protest.”

Zak Cochrane from Stand Up To Racism told the London protest, “They say 2016 was a year of despair—2017 is a year of hope.

“We showed that when we organise, we can push back racism and Trump.”


Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

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