The Stand Up to Trump organising summit is exactly the kind of rallying cry our international movement needs, asserts Chris Nineham
Donald Trump’s presidency has created an international outcry. It has sparked some of the biggest protests in US history including not just mass demonstrations but direct action, walkouts, cultural protests and political boycotts.
There has been a wave of protests beyond the US with Britain at the forefront of the movement.
Here we have had an enormous women’s march, two separate days of national actions with another one planned for Monday.
The speaker of the House of Commons has ruled that Trump would not be welcome in Parliament, various local MPs and councils have insisted that Trump would not be welcome in their cities, close to two million people have signed a petition against Trump coming and opinion polls show clear majorities against Trump being invited.
Trump’s hateful cocktail of domestic and foreign policies and personal attitudes has united whole swathes of the world’s population in a gathering rebellion.
The openly racist Muslim ban has angered millions. Trump’s gross sexism has insulted women around the world, his provocative foreign policy positions have generated fear and loathing in equal measure.
He is also mounting a huge attack on workers’ rights as well as publicly funded services, and he is also preparing for a massive assault on wages.
It is in this context that Theresa May took it upon herself to rush to Washington, welcome the new president, hold his hand and invite him over to Britain post haste.
This was a complete travesty of popular opinion. The so-called special relationship has been a disaster for people in Britain and the world in the last few decades.
It brought us the Thatcher-Reagan partnership which was a vital platform for the global neoliberal experiment and the Blair-Bush alliance which brought us Iraq and the mayhem that followed in its wake.
But a special relationship with Trump will be a new low. It will help normalise his backward attitudes, pull us into new and even more dangerous wars and draw us into deeply damaging economic deals.
A trade agreement with the US under Trump would be a privatisers’ charter.
It would accelerate the race to the bottom in terms of social and trade union rights and open up the NHS and swathes of the welfare state to US corporate takeover.
For all these reasons the campaign against Trump’s visit takes on historic importance.
The Stand up to Trump Committee was formed with the backing of key unions, a host of campaigning groups including Stop the War, Stand up to Racism and the People’s Assembly, Muslim organisations, women’s groups and community organisations.
This Saturday it is hosting a national organising summit at the Friends Meeting House in London.
The event allows activists, organisations and individuals to come together to discuss and plan how best to step up the already massive pressure to get Trump’s invitation withdrawn.
It will be a chance to deepen the campaign nationally and ensure that there are growing coalitions against Trump in every town and city around the country.
It is this kind of rooted, localised organisation that will be necessary to ensure a massive mobilisation should the visit go ahead.
The event will begin with testimonies from a wide range of communities and groups outlining exactly why they oppose Trump and his political, social and economic agenda.
There will be speakers from a range of Muslim organisations, from Health Campaigns Together, Momentum, trade unions and the NHS, LGBT and Kurdish communities, Jewish organisations, women’s groups and many more.
As the day progresses the summit will discuss various aspects of organising including how to get into workplaces, organise in universities and schools and how to use social media most effectively.
This is a huge opportunity to strengthen the movement against Trump and all that he represents.
It is imperative that every part of society is involved in the fight against Trump nad that no community is left out.
President Trump is looking weaker by the day, there have already been senior team resignations and push-backs all fronts.
Saturday’s event is part of an international campaign to radically change the political landscape and put oppressed groups at the heart of a campaign against a toxic president and the crisis-wracked system he represents.
Unity is key. This is a project which can draw in people who have never been involved in politics before.
The stakes are high, but if we build quickly on the campaigning that has already been done, we have the strength to win.
Politics is about more than what goes on in Parliament.
It is about what happens out on the streets. When Trump comes to visit, we are going to make sure everyone is out.
Chris Nineham is a founder member of Stop the War and Counterfire, speaking regularly around the country on behalf of both. He is author of The People Versus Tony Blair and Capitalism and Class Consciousness: the ideas of Georg Lukacs.
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