Donald Trump is now confirmed as coming to Britain in July on what has been termed a “working visit,” where he is likely to meet Theresa May prior to a Nato summit in Brussels.
Assuming it goes ahead, he is sure to face a massive national demonstration against his politics of racism, climate change denial, misogyny, warmongering and hate.
The organisers of the Together Against Trump demonstration (provisionally on July 13), which brings together existing campaigns such as Stop Trump and Stand Up to Trump, say that their protest could be massive.
Polling suggests that 4 per cent of the population have said that they would “definitely” take part in protests against the trip, which is equivalent to more than two million people.
As Maz Saleem, from Stand Up to Trump, says: “Donald Trump is an open racist and sexist, a volatile and dangerous character who seems set on taking the West into further wars. Together we will put on a massive united show of opposition to him if Theresa May goes ahead with plans for a visit.”
For many, this demonstration isn’t just about Trump, it’s also about the need for change closer to home.
The treatment of the Windrush generation has highlighted just how much the “hostile environment” created by May has in common with Trump’s attitude on migration.
It is also an appropriate time to review what his presidency has meant, and how we should respond to the very real challenges of the Trump presidency.
The longer his term of office continues, the more reactionary it becomes. It is proving to be even more bigoted and dangerous than we feared from Trump’s divisive campaign that paved his way to the Oval Office.
He has regularly attacked migrants and Muslims, and generated a global outcry with what he termed the “Muslim ban.”
He’s turned his back on international obligations to refugees and even shared a tweet from Jayda Fransen, a supporter of the racist Britain First.
The supporters of this organisation have indulged in outrageous public attacks on Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London.
Trump’s attitude to human rights and civil liberties has been extremely disturbing.
In an interview soon after becoming president, he said he continues to believe waterboarding works and talked about bringing it back, even though it is outlawed in the US as torture.
And of course he has no solutions to inequality, poverty, inadequate public services and social injustice at home.
His administration is increasingly dominated by Wall Street and is committed to even more tax cuts for the uber-rich.
Additionally, on the international stage, vital agreements and examples of co-operation are being torn up by the Trump administration.
These include the Paris Agreement to tackle climate change and the United Nations nuclear weapons ban treaty.
When it comes to neighbouring Latin America, Trump has continually stated that he will go ahead with building a wall on the Mexican border and has threatened military action against Venezuela. He has even undone Barack Obama’s concessions that led to a “thawing” of relations with Cuba.
In a major attack on women’s rights internationally, the global gag rule has been reinstated — this bans international NGOs with US funding from providing abortions or offering information about abortion.
For these and many other reasons over 1.8 million people here in Britain signed a petition proclaiming that Trump should not be honoured with a state visit. The petition forced a heated parliamentary debate on the issue.
Jeremy Corbyn responded to May’s initial invitation by saying: “Donald Trump should not be welcomed on a state visit to this country while he continues to propagate his anti-women, anti-Muslim and anti-Mexican policies.”
During the general election campaign he said we shouldn’t outsource our foreign policy and security to the erratic Trump White House.
Meanwhile Labour’s recently elected leader in Scotland, Richard Leonard MSP, wrote to Nicola Sturgeon, Ruth Davidson, Willie Rennie and Patrick Harvie about the prospect of Trump’s state visit.
Leonard said: “I am appalled at the prospect of President Trump coming to this country on a state visit. It is my view, and that of the Scottish Labour Party, that someone who holds such misogynist, racist and anti-trade union views, not to mention dangerous beliefs on foreign policy and peace in the world, and who rejects the Paris Climate Change Agreement, should not be given the ‘red carpet’ treatment.”
London Mayor Khan has echoed those sentiments and has repeatedly said that he believes most Londoners think May would be wrong to bestow the honour of a state visit on Trump.
The opposition to Trump’s agenda here in Britain is so strong because many people recognise that what he does affects us here.
There is widespread concern about his negative impact on international co-operation and how his divisive views legitimise Islamophobia, misogyny and other forms of bigotry all around the world, including here in Britain.
Let’s unite in solidarity to stand up to Trump’s repellent agenda and work together for a fairer future.
This article originally appeared in the Morning Star