Socialist Worker

Hundreds protest against Donald Trump at D-Day commemorations

by Alistair Farrow in Portsmouth
Issue No. 2658

The protest in Portsmouth united people opposed to Trump

The protest in Portsmouth united people opposed to Trump (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Hundreds of people protested against the latest leg of Donald Trump’s state visit in Portsmouth on Wednesday.

The warmonger had come for the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, the Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied France in 1944.

He was joined by French president Emmanuel Macron, German chancellor Angela Merkel and other European leaders as military planes flew overhead and troops marched.

“Trump just wants to use this as a photo opportunity,” said Simon Magorian, one of the protest organisers.

And Trump sees D-Day as a chance to glorify US military might, rather than a commemoration of those who died.

“I’m ex-army and I'm against Trump,” protester Alan Rice told Socialist Worker. “A lot of people like me, local veterans, couldn’t even get near the celebrations because we weren’t invited.”

He added, “And we don't want Trump here anyway—he puts babies in cages.”

The protest was supported by Together Against Trump, Stand Up To Racism (SUTR), and a wide range of other groups.

Anna from the One Day Without Us migrant solidarity campaign singled out Trump for his racist attacks. “When I hear Trump spreading hate against migrants, I call hypocrite,” she said.

“He enjoys the freedom to travel across borders and he does business across borders.”

War 

Susan argued that the Tories wanted the state visit to be a distraction from their party crisis and war on the poor.“I work, but I've taken the day off today to be here,” she said.

“The far right are on the rise and it’s terrifying. I don't want my kids to grow up in a world like that.”

A group of 30 far right hooligans attempted to disrupt the protest, but were quickly outnumbered, shouted down and chased off. They scuttled off to the nearest pub to drown their sorrows.

Protesters said Trump has boosted fascists

Protesters said Trump has boosted fascists (Pic: Neil Terry)


The confrontation showed how the Tories inviting Trump has puffed up fascists and racists.  

He infamously said there were “very fine people on both sides” after a Nazi murdered anti-fascist Heather Heyer during a far right mobilisation in Charlottesville in August 2017.

Weyman Bennett from SUTR described Charlottesville as “a warning from history”.“Our slogan is simple—it is, ‘Never again’,” he said.

“Never again will we allow that to happen.”

Other speakers from Stop the War, Jewish Voice for Labour and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign attacked Trump’s militarism and racism.

At the closing rally Jon Woods from Portsmouth trades council said, “We've had enough of a world run by the rich.

“We will fight—and that's why we need to build this movement."


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