US president Donald Trump has confirmed he won’t be coming to Britain to open the new US embassy in February.
Trump is scared of facing mass protests if he comes. He should be.
Some two million people said they would definitely protest if such a visit went ahead. Another 7 percent of people said they would “consider” joining a protest.
And half of people in Britain opposed Theresa May’s offer of a state visit to Trump.
“Donald Trump is too afraid of peaceful protest to come to #Battersea and open the New American Embassy,” said Labour MP Marsha de Cordova. “It shows the power of our great city's values and citizens in rejecting his politics of hatred and division.”
Trump gave a different reason. He tweeted, “I am not a big fan of the Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for ‘peanuts,’ only to build a new one in an off location for 1.2 billion dollars. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!”
The Stand Up To Trump campaign pointed to the real reason. Trump’s decision “is proof that protest can prevail and that the most powerful world players can be faced down,” tweeted the organisation.
Trump’s secretary of state, former Exxon Mobil boss Rex Tillerson, will come to open the US embassy in his place.
Protests should go ahead anyway to greet him.
Demonstrations called to mark the anniversary of Trump’s inauguration next weekend will be important indicators of the strength of feeling against Trump.
Stand Up To Racism has called a demonstration outside the (current) US embassy on 20 January.
And Women’s March London has called a demonstration outside Downing Street on 21 January. The deep anti-Trump mood can feed into building the anti-racist movement here.
“Trump’s racism must be opposed by a global movement Join us on 17 March as cities around the world mark UN Anti-Racism Day,” tweeted Stand Up To Racism (SUTR).
This is even more true after Trump’s disgusting comments this week, dismissing migrants from Haiti and African countries as coming from “shithole countries”.
If Trump ever steps foot here he must be met with huge protests.
But for the time being his decision not to come to Britain is a victory for all anti-racists and anti-sexists in Britain.