Socialist Worker

Protests across Britain as MPs debate Donald Trump state visit

Issue No. 2542

Thousands of protesters gathered in parliament square as MPs debated Donald Trumps visit

Thousands of protesters gathered in parliament square as MPs debated Donald Trump's visit (Pic: Press Association)


Thousands of people have taken to the streets today, Monday, in the latest day of protests against US president Donald Trump.

The London protest, called by the Stop Trump Coalition and supporteed by Stand Up To Racism and many other organisations, was one of a series taking place as MPs debating Donald Trump’s proposed state visit to Britain.

Protesters travelled from across Britain to join the protest in London.

Student Mitchell came from Bournemouth. “I've never been on a protest before," he told Socialist Worker. “But I heard about it through friends and felt I had to come.

“Trump is so dangerous. The idea that he can freely come into our country is something I had to stand against."

Many of the protesters were still angry at Trump's attempt to ban people from some Muslim majority countries from entering the US.

Liver, a student from Birmingham said, “As a queer person I'm told I should hate Muslims because they're homophobic. I've had lots of Muslim friends and I know that's not true”.

Union and campaign banners on the protest include Soas Unison, NUS international students' campaign, Stand Up To Racism, Movement for Justice, FE students against Trump and Football Against Apartheid. There are also CWU union balloons.

Council worker Harriet had traveled from Southampton to join the protest in London

Council worker Harriet had traveled from Southampton to join the protest in London (Pic: Socialist Worker)


Harriet a council worker from Southampton said, “We've finally got to the point where people have had enough. The Muslim ban was the straw that broke the camel's back.

“It's important that we're all here from different nationalities standing together. We have to show we don't agree with Theresa May sucking up to Trump”.

In Manchester, protester Zeinab Mohamed said her daughter had been detained at an airport.

“My daughter was held at the airport for five hours,” she said. “Why? Because she has a stamp in her passport from Somalia.

“We have to stand up to Donald Trump. And the Muslim community needs to come out and join these protests.”

Around 400 people turned out to protest in Glasgow.

Mohammed Asif from the Scottish Afghan Society thanked people for coming out in the cold weather.

He said, “You are standing here in solidarity with Muslims. We are all human beings, we should stand for one another”.

A large number of school and college students joined the demonstration in London. Ellie, a school student who was on her second protest, said, “Having Donald Trump come will mean that Britain would be enabling racism and sexism.

Fake

“People talk about 'fake news', but Trump himself is fake news with the lies he's telling. I'vegot Muslim friends and I can see how he's degrading them”.

Beatriz (left) was protesting against prime minister Theresa May as well as Donald Trump

Beatriz (left) was protesting against prime minister Theresa May as well as Donald Trump (Pic: Socialist Worker)


Ellie was also hopeful about pushing back against Trump and racism. “We've seen that protesting has got people places before,” she said.

Alana, who had come with a group of further education college students, said, “I've come because it's a chance to do something about this.

“We've had leaders like Trump in the past, but this the 21st century and his views don't belong here.Trump visiting would go against what British people believe”.

Protesters were also angry at Theresa May, not just for inviting Trump but for her racist scapegoating.

Beatriz said a student from London College of Communication said, “Theresa May is the 21st century Margaret Thatcher, I'm opposed to everything she stands for.The fact is she wasn't elected and shouldn't be in power”.

Muna, a university student and first-time protester, agreed, “As soon as Donald Trump got elected Theresa May flew over there and now she wants to bring him over here after he brought in the Muslim ban”.

Talha Ahmed from the Muslim Council of Britain said, “If Trump comes to Britain we will fill the streets to show he is not welcome”.

Julia from the Jewish Socialist Group said, "Donald Trump refused to acknowledge Jewish victims of the Holocaust on Holocaust Memorial Day. Instead he announced a Muslim travel ban. We are proud that American Jews responded immediately”.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell read out a message of support from Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

And Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said, “There is no place for racism here. There is no place for Islamophobia or for stirring up hatred against immigrants”.

Other speakers included NUT general secretary Kevin Courtney, Guardian newspaper columnist Owen Jones, NUS president Malia Bouattia and Birmingham anti-war campaigner Salma Yaqoob.

Speaking to the rally Murad Qureshi from the Stop the War Coalition said, “I'm here to stand up against Trump the warmonger. He wants to increase spending by £500 billion".

Protests were ongoing. For updates see socialistworker.co.uk

 


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