STOP TRUMP! Hundreds of thousands are expected to march against Donald Trump when he comes to the UK in July. A broad coalition of campaigns is organising a huge protest. The Stop Trump Coalition is a network of grassroots campaigns, unions, NGOs and politicians initiated by former Briefing contributor Owen Jones. Stand Up to Trump includes a range of campaigns against war, austerity and racism. Labour Briefing asked a range of activists to explain why they would be demonstrating.
Not welcome here
Hugh Lanning, Alliance for Free Movement
DONALD TRUMP is the conductor of a global orchestra driving a propaganda war fought not with facts and reason, but with emotive arguments. He provides a protective shield to an unholy alliance ranging from outright fascists and racists to the plain misguided and wrong.
The motives vary, but the impact is the same: to blame some “other” for global problems. Historically the “other” can vary – Mexican, Muslim, African, Roma, Jewish or Irish. This trope deliberately seeks to divert attention from the fact that the real problems of a lack of housing, low incomes and public service cuts have been created not by migrants, but by political choices made by governments and corporations in implementing policies of austerity and inequality.
Evidence shows that restricting the right of workers to move makes little difference to the global forces driving migration. In fact the free movement of people, rather than fortress borders, can build collective power in the face of attempts by the super-rich to turn the world into a gigantic marketplace where we are all isolated individuals competing against one another.
Hostile immigration policies do not control migration - rather they are a fake show of political toughness to those voters anxious about immigration.
Trump says that a nation is not a nation without a border and a southern wall, but for some reason he doesn’t need one to keep the Canadians out.
As the public demonstrated during the Windrush scandal, most believe a nation is its people - all of them. A democracy must defend the most vulnerable and provide services and homes for people who come to this country and add to its economy and its culture.
That’s why it’s so important to demonstrate that Trump is not welcome here. Let’s stop not just Trump, but also all those, here and abroad, riding on his political coat-tails.
Fly the flag for Palestine
Ben Jamal, director, Palestine Solidarity Campaign
WHEN DONALD TRUMP was elected, an Israeli minister said “the era of the Palestinian state is over”. Every action since has given credence to this view.
US recognition of Jerusalem, illegally occupied and annexed by Israel as Israel’s capital, and moving its embassy there, sought to unilaterally extinguish any hope of Palestine having East Jerusalem as its capital. This was not a symbolic act, but part of Trump’s political pact with his Christian evangelical supporters.
The massacre of over 100 Palestinians marching in Gaza by Israeli snipers drew US support, not criticism. In the largest deal to any country ever, the US is giving Israel $38 billion dollars of military aid.
Israel and Trump are working together on a shared Islamophobic agenda, demonising all Muslims as terrorists - to be shot, barred or invaded at will. The global response should be that no countries are above the law.
We should stop arming Israel until there is justice for Palestine and an end to the occupation and siege. We should boycott and divest from firms complicit in Israel’s violations of international law. Let’s march and fly the flag for Palestine.
Time to Trump torture
Aisha Maniar, London Guantánamo Campaign
THROUGHOUT ITS 12-YEAR existence, the London Guantánamo Campaign has protested visits by various US presidents to the UK, demanding they close down the Guantánamo Bay detention facility. Donald Trump’s visit in July will be no exception.
As well as his insistence on keeping Guantánamo open and his threat to send “bad dudes” there, Trump has, at least verbally, also expressed considerable fondness for the use of torture, particularly by the CIA. Most recently, he demonstrated this in his endorsement of Gina Haspel, a known torturer and former operator of a CIA black site, as current CIA chief.
However, as well as sending a strong message to one of our strongest allies and the media that Guantánamo has to close, we also have to remind the public that the prison is still very much open and 40 prisoners remain there, largely without charge or trial. We will be supporting the mass protest on 13th July welcoming Donald Trump to these shores. While orange is a colour often associated with Donald Trump, it is also the colour of the orange jumpsuits prisoners were once forced to wear. Orange will be the colour of our protest.
We will be joining others protesting a broad range of Trump’s policies because it is undeniable that 16 years of Guantánamo’s operation with little official objection has given impetus to other infamous Trump policies on immigration such as the ‘Muslim ban’ and extending immigration detention.