Cincinnati anti-Trump demonstration, November 2016. Photo: Flickr/ 5chw4r7z Cincinnati anti-Trump demonstration, November 2016. Photo: Flickr/ 5chw4r7z

As the old order stumbles, our side must embrace the internationalism that underpins anti-Trumpism, asserts Kevin Ovenden

One of the largest, if not the largest, demonstrations outside of the US on Saturday was in London. And there were many other protests across Britain at the same time.

Strategically, that’s important.

Theresa May will be the first foreign leader to fly to Washington next week to meet Trump. She hopes to cement a “very special relationship”.

I think May is going to have many difficulties in doing so. One of them is at home, given what Saturday’s protests in Britain revealed.


Trump is much more reviled than George W Bush was in 2001, and it was Tony Blair’s “blood sacrifice” relationship with him that was his downfall.

The response to that from the movement in Britain 15 years ago was not to be caught in the diplomatic conflict between Bush and the EU, which manifested itself in the White House looking to the “new Europe” of the Eastern European states to counter the old Franco-German Europe.


It was to seek to build the widest international unity and awareness of the movement. There was coordination between the anti-war movements in Britain and in the US.

That kind of approach fits today. Building on the unity of Saturday from below, against whatever lash-up Trump and May come up with.

That is an approach that can help undermine Trump in the US and May in Britain. That is what we did with the rise of the movements which marked the start of this century, from Seattle, through Genoa to the global anti-war movement.

We didn’t do it by looking to one trading block of capitalism and alliance of states against another one. 

Kevin Ovenden

Kevin Ovenden is a progressive journalist who has followed politics and social movements for 25 years. He is a leading activist in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle, led five successful aid convoys to break the siege on Gaza, and was aboard the Mavi Marmara aid ship when Israeli commandoes boarded it killing 10 people in May 2010. He is author of Syriza: Inside the Labyrinth.