Trump, Trump, Trump…

It was a week of protests against Trump, certainly making very clear the point that Trump is not welcome here. And of course he isn’t – there must be very few outside a few Conservative MPs who really think it was a good idea to invite him, and their number must have dwindled at seeing the farce of a visit that public opinion forced on the government.

Trump’s only contact with London was to walk a few yards to and from a helicopter to the house of the US Ambassador where he spent a night in the large estate in Regent’s Park, surrounded by a huge security operation behind a tall fence. I suspect police had advised that it would not be possible to ensure he would be able to travel on London’s roads to either Buckingham Palace or the US Embassy at Nine Elms. It had been thought that the visit had been arranged for the President to officially open the embassy, but he described it as as ‘lousy’ and ‘horrible’, and refused to go there.

The week started with a protest there, organised by Momentum Wandsworth. Sensibly the protest was held on the main road in front of the entrance to the embassy garden, where workers in the embassy come out on foot, and also the protest could be seen by those going along the fairly busy road.

The embassy is built on a site with a radical tradition, as one of the protesters reminded us, wearing a suffragette sash in memory of one of the leading suffragettes, Charlotte Despard who lived and worked there.

There was a large and noisy protest in Regent’s Park when his helicopter arrived, and the protesters intended to keep up the noise all night until he flew off to a military base to be safe from protesters. Being Trump he will have boasted they were there to welcome him as he walked from the helicopter to the house, where I suspect effective double glazing will have kept out the sound. We did see the helicopter fly in, but the landing site was out of view.

Later that evening, protesters dropped a giant banner with the message ‘TRUMP: CLIMATE GENOCIDE’ over the river wall opposite the Houses of Parliament. The protesters say that by wilfully ignoring the clear science on climate change he is threatening the existence of human life on earth. It seemed a very good and clear reason to protest against him.

I didn’t get to Chequers or Windsor Castle, but there were protests at both. In London on Friday there were several protests, two on a large scale. The first, organised by women and supported by a wide range of women’s groups, highlighted his misogyny, but also protested more generally with what was described as as a day of joy, love, solidarity and resistance celebrating the diverse communities which make up our great city of London, standing together for Justice, Equality and Peace. It was against Trump and others whose agendas driven by desire for profit, greed, power & domination are ‘wreaking havoc – fuelling conflict; displacing vast numbers from their homes; waging war on our rights; destroying our planet.’

This march with tens of thousands was still making its way through London’s streets when a second and much larger march, estimated at a quarter of a million people, organised by ‘Together Against Trump’ began, on its way to a rally in Traflagar Square, though by the time I arrived there, the square was already full to capacity. Owen Jones had begun the Stop Trump Coalition in February with grassroots campaigners, trade unions, NGOs and politicians and others, including SWP members, had formed ‘Stand Up to Trump’, which also took part in the march.

I walked through Soho, which had people on almost every street with posters and placards, most intending to join one or other of the two big marches. There was a TV crew touring the area with two actors impersonating Trump and First Lady Melania, though not particularly well, but I had come for the marathon ‘Revolution Day’ street protest party against Trump’s visit organised by Soho Radio, which was meant to start at mid-day and continue at least until midnight. It wasn’t really happening on my first visit, so I returned later to take more pictures, and then again after photographing the main march, by which time things had really got going, though I think it would have got even more interesting in another hour or two, by which time I was having dinner elsewhere.

US Embassy protest says NO to Trump
Noise protest against Trump
‘Trump: Climate Genocide’ Giant banner
‘Bring The Noise’ Women march against Trump
Massive protest against Trump’s Visit
Soho parties to protest Trump’s visit

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