So Donald Trump has cancelled his planned visit to Britain in February. He blamed the deal Barack Obama cut on the building of the US embassy. But we all know that Trump is running scared of the scale of protest his visit would ignite.
Millions of ordinary people were outraged by Theresa May’s offer of a state visit to Donald Trump. Trump has overstepped every line of acceptable political practice.
That’s why if he comes to Britain at any point he will undoubtedly face one of the biggest demonstration in this country’s history.
The most powerful politician on the face of the earth is using his position to promote conflict, division and racism. In a recent meeting Trump said he didn’t want people from “shithole countries” such as Haiti and in Africa coming to the US and wanted more from countries such as Norway.
From climate change denial to his nuclear brinkmanship with North Korea Trump is marking the world a more and more dangerous place on a daily basis. The death of Heather Heyer at Charlottesville and Trump’s response to the violent marches by the alt-right and the KKK summed up just how close his flirtations with the racist and fascist right go.
While Trump himself is not attempting to build a Nazi-style movement he is not averse to leaning on the ‘Alt-right’ for support in times of trouble. He may now have fallen out with Steve Bannon but Trump stood up for the ‘good people’ that had marched with burning torches shouting ‘Jews will not replace us’.
Trump called time and again during his campaign for the building of a wall to keep out Mexican migrants. This demand was a direct property grab from the policies of the Tea Party.
Some argued the ‘build a wall’ call was just rhetoric, simply a device to stir up the crowd. But now Trump is seeking $18billion funding to actually build the barrier. In the face of mass protests and a series of legal challenges he’s also continued to force through a version of his ‘Muslim Ban’ leaving the Muslim community in the US targeted as an enemy within.
The truth is that while Trump can’t deliver on his promises to make life better for those Americans that feel ‘left behind’ he can continue to give the disaffected scapegoats for their problems, migrants, refugees and Muslims.
Trumps out and out Islamophobia has legitimised the targeting of the Muslim community while laying the ground for older forms of racism. The open antisemitism at Charlottesville has been matched by Trump’s open hostility to the Black Lives Matter movement and the ‘take a knee’ protests in the NFL show that Trump’s racism is general, not simply aimed at the Muslim community.
Trump’s politics and behaviour are part of the wider growth of the populist racist and fascist right. Last year saw the fascist Marine Le Pen come in second place in the French Presidential elections - and take over 10.5 million votes.
Now we have the entry of The Freedom Party into Austrian government.
The election of 94 far right AfD MPs into the German Bunderstag was truly shocking. As negotiations to form a German government continue the AfD could end up as the official opposition!
In Warsaw, Poland, at the end of last year 60,000 people marched behind far right banners calling for a white Europe. Trump’s example is an inspiration to all these racist movements.
Stand Up To Racism is working with many other organisations to plan a suitable reception for Donald Trump if his visit goes ahead later this year. One year on from his inauguration we want to highlight the racism at the height of the Trump administration.
That’s why we’ve called for ‘knock down the racist wall’ events all across the country on Saturday 20 January and why we’ll be ‘knocking down the wall’ outside the new American embassy in South London from 2pm.
And at the centre of our mass demonstrations in London, Cardiff and Glasgow on Saturday 17 March to mark UN anti-racism day, will be opposition to Trump’s politics.
These anti-racist demonstrations are being co-ordinated with other major protests across Europe and in the US. After 10 years of austerity while Trump hands out trillions of dollars to the rich he wants ordinary people to blame each other for our problems not the bankers and politicians who caused the crisis.
We want to build a mass movement against racism that beats back the growth of the racist right and and isolates the ideas Trump seeks to make acceptable.