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Issue #1763      February 1, 2017

Britain

Anti-Trump protests

LONDON: Protests were held worldwide last month as Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States. Anti-racist and anti-war protesters were joined by women’s groups and other activists at events in at least 30 towns and cities across Britain, including Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Cardiff and Edinburgh.

Thousands attended a major protest at the US embassy in London with the organising group Stand Up to Racism warning that “the effects of the Trump presidency will be felt all over the world.”

The anti-racist group fears that racism and sexism will be normalised by one of the world’s most powerful and visible figures. During a bitter and divisive election campaign, Trump made a series of inflammatory and racist statements, including a call to ban all Muslims from entering the US and a pledge to force Mexicans to build a wall to stop them crossing the border.

Human rights organisation Amnesty International urged Trump to “condemn hate and protect human rights,” calling on him to “publicly repudiate the use of torture and to close the US detention centre at Guantánamo Bay.” Trump has pledged to increase the use of torture and fill Guantánamo with “bad dudes.”

Campaigners also condemned him for his rhetoric and attacks on minorities throughout the election contest. He mocked a disabled journalist, referred to Mexicans as “rapists,” and condoned the beating of opponents protesting at his rallies. He was caught on tape claiming that his celebrity status meant that he could do what he wanted to women including “grab them by the pussy.”

Women who have accused Trump of sexual assault are filing lawsuits against him.

Trump announced last week that he was “getting ready to leave for Washington, DC.” He said, “The journey begins and I will be working and fighting very hard to make it a great journey for the American people. I have no doubt that we will, together, make America great again.”

However, John Rees from the People’s Assembly warned: “Donald Trump’s presidency is bad for black Americans, bad for Muslim Americans, bad for Mexican Americans, bad for any woman in America, bad for anyone who needs healthcare in America and bad for any working person in America.”

“His foreign policy will undoubtedly be bad for the rest of the world. We all have an interest in making this the shortest ever US presidency.”

The Labour Party’s shadow home secretary Diane Abbott urged solidarity against Trump: “There is a link between inflammatory statements by politicians and racist attacks and hate crimes on the street.

“Now is the time for people of goodwill to unite and stand up to racism.”

Trump has made a series of belligerent statements on international issues – including a promise to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Stop the War Coalition vice-chairman Chris Nineham said Trump’s election represented a serious danger for global politics: “Trump has threatened Iran, provoked China, promised to escalate in the Middle East, and move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. These are dangerous days for the world. The anti-war movement needs to be on full alert.”

Communist Party of Britain general secretary Rob Griffiths warned that “the reality of Trump’s big business politics” would hit the working class and minorities as he called for “maximum international solidarity.”

Morning Star

Next article – Culture & Life – Oh what a lovely war!

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