Thousands braved the cold and rain in Edinburgh on Saturday 11 February to march against Donald Trump, reports Vladimir Unkovski-Korica
She might have hoped that handing the Queen’s invitation to Donald Trump to visit the UK later this year would be a foreign policy coup. Instead, Theresa May is heading for disaster.
The streets of Edinburgh reverberated with the sounds of noisy, colourful chants against Trump but not was more poignant than the simple: “Hey, Theresa, no Trump visa!”
This is an emerging theme. Over the last few weeks, 1.8 million people across the UK signed a petition against the US president’s visit.
Protests were scattered across Scotland on 30 January, and Saturday saw only Scotland’s first national demonstration against Trump.
It’s hard to believe that this is just the beginning. We started in the Meadows, where songs and speeches warmed the crowd.
As we moved past the Royal Mile and over the North Bridge, it became clear the column was getting bigger. People were joining the march, waving from buses and honking support.
We marched past the US consulate along Regent Terrace, before proceeding to the Scottish Parliament for the main rally.
It began to rain as one of the organisers, Jonathon Shafi, introduced the speakers. The rain did not stop a barrage of fiery deliveries from anti-racist and refugee rights campaigners, trade unionists and student militants, women’s rights and LGBT activists, and others from the platform.
The range of speakers was impressive as was their message. All of them underlined that the problem was not just Trump but the corporate power he represents.
The system feeds on divisions between working people by attacking women, blacks, Muslims…and by spreading American power using military means abroad.
Suki Sangha from Unite quoted Black Panther, Fred Hampton, saying that ‘the answer to racism is solidarity, the answer to capitalism is socialism!’
The crowd cheered and at one point many lifted their fists to shout ‘say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here!’
It was clear we were from all over Scotland but also from all over the world. Women and men, black and white, Muslims, trade unionists, representatives from many left parties and groups, came together, showing what fighting unity looks like.
It’s enough to give Theresa May a glimpse of what she has unleashed by tying herself to Trump’s policies and presidency. We have a historic chance to break the ‘special relationship’. With it, we may see many of the British state’s institutions go, one by one. We have to seize the moment.
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