Socialist Worker

Hundreds protest against Donald Trump in London on day one of his state visit

by Alistair Farrow
Issue No. 2657

People protested for many reasons

People protested in London for many reasons (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Up to 500 people formed an unwelcoming committee for US president Donald Trump in London on Monday, the first day of his state visit to Britain.

It was a taste of what was to come on Tuesday, when tens of thousands were expected to demonstrate.

Chants rang out across St James’s Park and towards Buckingham Palace where Trump was dining with the scroungers of the royal family.

People joined the protest for a wide range of reasons. For Janet it was as simple as being a voice of protest. “I just felt I needed to protest against this racist misogynist.

“I left work early and came straight here. I wouldn’t be anywhere else.”

People joined protests in other towns and cities across Britain on Monday evening, including 400 in Manchester, 300 in Bristol and 200 in Cambridge.  

More were planned on Tuesday, including the main protests in London.

Dump Trump

'Dump Trump' (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Julie Sherry from Stand Up To Racism (SUTR), one of the groups which called the protest, said, “If you hate Trump, you need to come out tomorrow.”

Earlier on Monday Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called on people to protest against Trump on Tuesday.

Tomorrow’s protest against Donald Trump’s state visit is an opportunity to stand in solidarity with those he’s attacked in America, around the world and in our own country,” he tweeted.

Corbyn’s office then announced he would be speaking at the demonstration.

Unified

Julie from SUTR gave an idea of why the protests against Trump’s visit to Britain last year were so huge. “Trump has unified people against him,” she said. “And now the Tories have associated themselves with the most hated man in the world.”

Kathleen from Connecticut agreed.

“Trump has provoked people in the States to take action who wouldn’t necessarily normally call themselves political,” she said.

Big protests against Trump can deepen the crisis for the Tories, who have welcomed him to Britain.

Maya pointed to foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt’s cowardly attempts to distance himself from Trump with one hand while welcoming him with the other. “It shows the Tories’ desperation that they need to get the approval of someone they don’t even like,” she said.

People from the US came to the protest to add their voices to the anti-Trump chorus.

On the protest of 200 in Liverpool

On the protest of 200 in Liverpool (Pic: Kelly Stubbs)


Christine from Boston argued that, while there are problems with the Democratic Party, Trump is much worse.

“Trump is spreading hate through society,” she said. “Children in classrooms are being called racial slurs. Boys think it’s alright to be sexually harassing girls because they see that behaviour being normalised.”

Kathleen said that it was important that people turn out to be “seen to be visibly rejecting him and all he represents”.

There was a vocal and visible minority element of the protest that linked the fight against Trump to the campaign to remain in the EU. But many others were more measured.

“Trump may be for Brexit, but I don’t think that all those who voted for Brexit are racist,” said Maya. “It was the government that set the limits of the debate. And in the hands of the Tories, that was always going to be a poisonous contest.

“Things are bad and people were looking for a different way of doing things. That's what Brexit was about.”


Manchester

The Manchester anti-Trump demo was a great show of opposition not only to Trump himself but also to the British government which is welcoming him with open arms.

The variety of different groups who were present and spoke shows the range of people who are affected by and opposed to Trump’s hateful ideologies. We had speakers from Stand Up To Racism, Manchester Abortion Rights Campaign, and a variety of climate change movements including school strikers and others.

There was a great feeling of solidarity among the crowd showing that Manchester stands against Trump!

Molly Docherty

Say no to Trump - click here for details of your local protest

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