The Socialist 17 January 2018 |
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Victory! Trump's UK visit cancelled by fear of protests
Protesting against Trump, photo Paul Mattsson, photo Paul Mattsson (Click to enlarge)
Jack Maxey, Goldsmiths Socialist Students
A victory for the left! President Trump has cancelled his visit for the opening of the new US embassy in London, scheduled for this February.
Both Trump and Theresa May feared the visit would spark mass demonstrations against his racist and bigoted views and policy agenda.
Last month Socialist Party members joined a protest outside the US embassy to protest against Trump's retweeting of the far-right group Britain First. He broadcast their racist lies to his over 46 million Twitter followers.
Trump has more recently made headlines by reportedly describing a number of African countries, as well as Haiti and El Salvador, as "shitholes."
In a lot of cases, of course, US imperialism bears a big responsibility for any problems that do exist in these countries, including by overthrowing their governments.
True to form, Trump denies the remarks himself. But Dick Durbin, a Democratic senator who was at the meeting, stated "he said these hate-filled things and he said them repeatedly."
But it's OK - Trump then told the press "I am the least racist person you will ever interview."
The implications of this are big for the students' and workers' movements. The Conservative Party is fragmented.
The majority they hoped to increase with a snap election disappeared, leading to a hung parliament.
Meanwhile, Trump is the least popular first-year president in history, and his Republicans aren't happy with him either.
Both Trump and May are wary of the power that movements of workers and young people have, particularly in their vulnerable situations. A state visit to Britain would give momentum to the opposition.
Diplomatic norms require the visit to happen at some point, but neither leader wants to provoke the inevitable uproar that will come with it.
In January 2017 May formally invited Trump for a state visit, resulting in thousands of people taking to the streets of London in protest.
If they're afraid of protests - let's give them protests! The National Union of Students should call a national demo for free education - and build to get students out on the NHS demonstration on 3 March too.