Standing Up To Trump
Campaigners from across the country gathered together to discuss and plan for Stand up to Trump, a coalition with a plan to take on the US president
On Saturday, hundreds of activists gathered at the Stand Up to Trump Organising Summit to help build a mass opposition to Donald Trump and his planned visit to this country.
As speakers from a wide range campaigns and movements addressed the crowd, the reality of a determined united front became more and more tangible.
Donald Trump has been unrelenting in his efforts to offend as many people as possible with his vile policies and rhetoric. Despite his overtly racist and sexist agenda, Theresa May has reinforced the ‘special relationship’ and extended the invitation of a state visit.
While May seems undeterred by Trump’s actions, it has quickly become clear that the British public are adamant in their opposition to Trump’s visit, with over a million people signing a petition against the state visit within just 24 hours of it being published.
While the petition has added more pressure on the government to rescind the invitation, it’s clearly not enough. It has fallen to the movements to unite and mobilise to mount a potent revolt against Trump and the implicated Prime Minister.
Seemingly every day since his inauguration, people across the world have taken to the streets to protest against Trump and his deplorable actions. Those that insisted that Trump would quickly tone down his message upon entering the White House, must now accept that merely weeks in, his presidency has been more regressive and divisive than anyone could have predicted.
As the Trump administration launched a brutal ban on Muslims entering the country, thousands mobilised at John F Kennedy airport to passionately oppose the executive order, with the pictures transmitted and shared across the globe.
With this in mind, it became abundantly clear that Theresa May’s decision to extend an invitation of a state visit to president Trump demanded a similar response. As such, after a series of well-attended demonstrations at the time of the inauguration and the Muslim travel ban, a diverse range of organisations have seized the moment to unite to form Stand Up to Trump, a broad and powerful movement against the American president.
The discussion was set off, with a series of rousing speeches from various campaigners spelling out the danger Trump represents. As anti-racist campaigner, Barbara Ntumy addressed the crowd; she made it clear that if the UK government had planned for Donald visit to be a quiet affair, they’d better think again.7
In fact, it’s already become clear that the government is concerned by the widespread opposition to the prospect of a Trump state-visit. In recent days, there have been reports that the visit will be moved to Birmingham rumours that any presidential address would be an all-ticketed affair far from the public eye.
If these reports are true, then the government is clearly growing scared of the momentum quickly forming behind the movement to oppose Trump’s visit. They obviously think that by moving city, they’d be able to avoid the opposition on the street.
However, those who were at the Stand Up to Trump summit on Saturday will enthuse that whatever city Trump chooses to visit, millions will be on the streets to let him know he’s unwelcome. Repeated calls were made from the floor for the day that Trump visits, to be the biggest day of protest this country ahs ever seen. Bigger even than the anti-war protest of 2003.
The People’s Assembly’s Sam Fairbairn stressed the importance of organising locally, emphasising the need to build links with local mosques, campaigns, workplaces, whilst also drawing attention to the upcoming NHS demonstration on March 4th. While the NHS may seem divorced from the issue at hand, it would seem Theresa May has no inhibitions about touting the NHS as part of a trade deal with the US president.
On Monday 20th February, thousands will come together from across the country to make their voices heard as parliament debates Trump’s potential state-visit.