Trump’s racist, xenophobic, sexist and islamophobic policies have induced ferocious retributions from not just America but activists and believers of equality worldwide. And following this months ‘Women’s March’, where tens of thousands of people came together to protest Trump for the second year running, it is evident that demonstrations against his Presidency are not easily backing down.
It’s no surprise, then, that over 1,860,000 people from across the pond here in the UK (me included) signed a petition to stop Trump’s state visit to the UK. The petition- which was formed as an opposition to his ‘misogyny and vulgarity’- was only intended to reach 100,000 signatures, but by the time it was debated in Parliament it proved the UK general public’s true hatred of America’s president.
This dissent increased hugely when Trump retweeted unverified videos from the anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, ultranationalist hate group Britain First- who’s leader (a radical Christian) is awaiting trial for a hate crime. Just days ago, Trump issued a pathetic excuse of an ‘apology’ for these retweets; claiming he ‘didn’t know’ these discriminatory and stereotyping videos came from a hate group, and doing nothing to address the publicity and enabling of white nationalist supremacists he gave through these retweets. Of course, his continued inability to apologise for his racism towards Britain’s Muslim community has only increased British citizens desire to keep him away from our inclusive society.
Or, if he did bring his hatred with him, we would be ready to protest it.
It has been estimated by the Guardian newspaper that protests against Trump’s visit would be on the biggest scale recorded since the anti-Iraq war protests in 2003. From the 1,860,000 people who signed the petition, to the millions more who spoke out against his enabling of political hate groups (and recently his pathetic, half-hearted attempt to rescind that), Britain was ready to stand in solidarity with the American public and show how unwelcome hatred is in our world.
Until a few days ago, when Trump, defender of the right to free speech, reportedly tried to ban protests in the UK against his visit!
He was recorded in saying in a private phone call to Theresa May, the UK Prime Minister, that he would not make a state visit unless the UK people would sit in silence against his regime, and give him a ‘warm welcome’. This fascist sounding plan sparked yet another wave of outrage across news platforms and social media, and for days the plans for the visit were up in the air as all his statement achieved was making crowds planning to protest him bigger and bigger.
Yesterday, Downing Street changed their minds again and announced that Trump’s state visit is going ahead, likely sometime in the summer. Now all that is left to decide is how the public will react.
Will we demurely stay at home like he wishes as he spreads his racist ideals further?
Or will we take a stand against his misogyny, islamophobia and fascist ideas that are already seeping into our government structures?