When Hatemonger-In-Chief Donald Trump Visits The UK, We Must Once Again Fill The Streets

With hate crime at epidemic proportions, normalising Trump’s bigotry with a state visit is a direct threat to communities across Britain – so we must fill London’s streets with an even bigger demonstration than before

When hatemonger-in-chief Donald Trump tried to visit London last summer, he was met with a quarter-million strong festival of resistance – a powerful message beamed around the world that his bigoted agenda is not welcome here.

Rather than heed that message and refrain from inviting him back to Britain, Theresa May has responded by granting him a full state visit, only the third US President to be granted such an honour in the reign of the current Queen.

The reasons so many people came out on the streets could take up an entire article – from the illegal ‘Muslim ban’ to retweets of the far-right Britain First, the interminable quest for a racist border wall, the separation of families and detention of children, horrific normalisation of sexual violence with boasts of ‘pussy grabbing’, denying the reality of catastrophic climate change and withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, threats of war against Venezuela, a ban on trans people serving in the military... After just two years in office, Trump has managed to threaten virtually the whole of humanity save the tiny group of ultra-rich billionaires he represents.

As well as the thousands of brilliant and sometimes hilarious placards on display, this breadth of opposition is also reflected in the wide range of groups that make up the Together Against Trump coalition, organisers of this and last year’s demonstration. From my own group, Stand Up To Racism, which opposes the rise in racism and the far-right that Trump is spearheading, to the many faith, trade union, women’s and LGBT+ groups, campaigns against war, austerity, global poverty and the inspiring wave of climate resistance, organisations within Together Against Trump represent the majority of society in Britain and across the world for whom defeating Trump’s agenda is a necessity, not just a goal.

With hate crime at epidemic proportions, normalising Trump’s bigotry with a state visit is a direct threat to communities across Britain. The Muslim community, Trump’s main target since his election campaign, is at the sharp end of this. Last month the horrific attack in New Zealand was followed by a series of attacks on Mosques in Britain, and a reported 593% rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes. Giving Trump a platform to spread his bigotry presents a serious danger of another such rise.

The visit, currently scheduled for 3-5 June, would take place during the anniversary of the D-Day landings, one of the turning points in the eventual defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II. But on the issue of fascism, Trump is at best an equivocator.

As well as retweeting Britain First and blaming “both sides” for white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, he recently welcomed the fascist president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, with open arms and promises of possible Nato membership. Bolsonaro responded by pledging support for Trump’s wall, saying: “The vast majority of potential immigrants do not have good intentions. They do not intend to do the best or do good to the US people.”

For all these reasons and more it is vital that we demand Trump’s state visit is cancelled or, in the event it goes ahead, fill London’s streets with an even bigger demonstration against him. As our government recklessly seeks to normalise Trump’s bigotry with pomp and ceremony, we have to make sure that the footage on news screens across the world is a celebration of everything he seeks to threaten – a vibrant, resistant and proud display of humanity in all its diversity determined to fight for our future.

Sabby Dhalu is co-Convenor of Stand Up To Racism


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