Apr 27, 2018
Tens of thousands of people in the United Kingdom have committed to protest during President Donald Trump's planned visit to London on July 13, with organizers saying a potential post-Brexit U.S.-U.K. trade deal as well as the president's overall agenda and misogynist, racist rhetoric will drive demonstrators into the streets.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, a longtime critic of Trump's, promised on social media that demonstrations against the president would be welcomed by the city.
\u201cIf he comes to London, President Trump will experience an open and diverse city that has always chosen unity over division and hope over fear. He will also no doubt see that Londoners hold their liberal values of freedom of speech very dear.\u201d— Sadiq Khan (@Sadiq Khan) 1524762616
Shaista Aziz, organizer with the Stop Trump coalition, appeared on Radio 4 on Friday to explain what her group was planning for Trump's visit:
As leftist journalist and activist Owen Jones declared in a Friday column at the Guardian: "Trump represents an exceptional danger. And that's why we must all march."
The president's previously planned state visit was scaled back to a working visit earlier this year after 1.8 million Brits signed a petition opposing the event.
"If mass protests against Trump's visit also derail a trade deal, it will be a double success." --Nick Dearden, Global Justice Now
The petition was circulated amid outrage over Trump's retweet of an anti-Muslim video posted on Twitter by the far-right fringe group Britain First, an action that drew condemnation from British politicians including Prime Minister Theresa May.
London's demonstration is being planned amid warnings that such protests could harm a potential post-Brexit trade deal between the U.S. and the U.K., with many British people saying they oppose a deal.
"Let's be clear: a trade deal with this man is not a 'prize', it would be a disaster," Nick Dearden of Global Justice Now said in a statement. "If mass protests against Trump's visit also derail a trade deal, it will be a double success. The people of Britain are overwhelmingly opposed to the sort of trade deal Trump will offer, which promises chlorine chicken and a further privatized NHS among many other attacks on U.K. standards and protections."
British food safety experts were aghast earlier this year after the release of a report detailing major safety and hygiene breaches at large meat and poultry plants in the United States.
Britain's Institute for Public Policy Research found recently that 82 percent of the nation's public would rather abandon plans for a trade deal with the U.S. than lower food standards--a step May has refused to rule out in order to push an agreement through.
London has been the site of numerous anti-Trump protests since the president won the 2016 election. Nearly 100,000 were estimated to join the 2017 Women's March in Britain's capital, and tens of thousands turned out two weeks later to march against Trump's proposed travel ban.
"The demonstrations against Trump's visit will be a carnival of resistance," said Dearden. "We will be joining to take a strong stand against Trump's racism, bigotry, misogyny, transphobia--as well as his ultra-corporate trade agenda. At a time when the U.K. government's own treatment of immigrants has been shown to be Trump-like in its crude populism, let's remember that Trump's Muslim ban is still in place. In Britain as in the U.S.A., this politics of hatred and division has no place."
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