Coventry rallies against Trump’s visit

Coventry rallies against Trump’s visit

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The demo begins in Friargate

Donald Trump finally visited the UK on Friday 13th July after months of delays over fears of mass protests. While Theresa May and other Tory ministers welcomed him, the British public turned out in hundreds of thousands in London and other cities across the country to oppose his visit and his politics of hate and division.

In many cities across the country, the Socialist Party and Socialist Students joined protests over Trump’s policies, as well as to stand in solidarity with those whom his administration poses the greatest threat: LGBT+ people, women and ethnic minorities as well as the organised working class more widely.

Here in Coventry we played a significant role in building support for the Friday demo, campaigning for hours at midday in the city centre and explaining to members of the public why this demonstration was important to them. Part of this involved trying to counter the anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, right-wing populist agenda he represents and is trying to sell to working class people, though it is clearly against their interests.

The afternoon demo began at Friargate, with chants such as “2,4,6,8, no to Trump and no to hate!” to build up enthusiasm in the crowd and attract interest from passers-by at the train station. We marched through the city centre to Broadgate, where we heard from local activists about the need to fight back against Trump, his politics and his agenda.

Socialist Party members and trade union activists spoke about the Trump administration’s attacks on rights in the US, and the threat they posed to migrants, to women, to LGBT+ people, and to all workers. But speakers also referred to the incredible resistance against Trump in the US, and the great victories by trade unions and socialist campaigners, despite the hostile establishment.

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Socialist Party member and Coventry UNISON Young Members officer (personal capacity) Dan Crowter speaking at the demo

Coventry Socialist Party members were there with leaflets explaining why we had called for national demonstrations against Trump; these were vital to engage with members of the public walking by who took an interest in the protest.

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Socialist Party member and NEU National Executive member (personal capacity) Jane Nellist speaking at the demo

As the march stopped at Broadgate for the main rally, our material helped us reach shoppers, school students, and commuters returning home from work who would otherwise not have taken part. This included a 12-year-old asked by his friends to speak for all of them on why Trump had to be opposed – one of the main highlights of the whole rally!

Theresa May might not be brave enough to call Trump a racist and a sexist, but a 12-year-old attending his first protest certainly was!

They were brave enough to stand and tell the truth about Trump and his policies – it’s a shame that May and her cabinet couldn’t do the same!

There was a clear fighting message from this rally; one very timely given the clear weakness of May’s government following recent events.

Trump’s visit highlighted further divisions in a Tory party already in chaos; trying to both gain a Brexit deal which will serve business interests when it comes to trade, as well as looking to placate the pro-EU wing of the party who oppose Brexit.

With this party in crisis, and with May hand-in-hand with a US president facing huge opposition represented by the protests, the possibility to topple this government and replace them with a Corbyn-led, anti-austerity Labour government clearly exists.

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Coventry protests as Parliament debates Trump state visit

Coventry protests as Parliament debates Trump state visit

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Coventry once again joined nationwide protests against the proposed state visit of Donald Trump, organised to coincide with the parliamentary debate which was prompted by close to 2 million people signing a petition against the state visit. The protest was called by Coventry Stand Up To Trump.

Dozens of people joined the protest, with many more hearing the anti-Trump message as they left work in the city centre. Speakers from Coventry TUC, Coventry Against Racism and others talked about Trump’s divisive agenda and why it must be stopped.

Socialist speakers pointed out how Trump is a symptom of a sick capitalist system, and through his actions he is actually uniting more people together as they join up to oppose him.

The Socialist Party will look forward to continuing the protests against his state visit and putting forward a socialist alternative to Trump and his system.

Hundreds turn out to oppose EDL in Coventry

Hundreds turn out to oppose EDL in Coventry

Gathering in Broadgate

Gathering in Broadgate

On Saturday 21st May the far right English Defence League came to Coventry with the agenda of dividing communities by trying to scapegoat ethnic and religious minorities for the ills in society, trying to turn worker against worker. However this did not happen. The people of Coventry would not allow it to happen. A counter protest was called by local anti-racists, supported by various campaign groups, trade unions, political organisations and local communities. The people of Coventry combated the EDL’s calls for division with solidarity and unity with hundreds attending the #wearecov demonstration in Broadgate.

The attendance at the #wearecov gathering vastly outnumbered the EDL march and we also won a a victory by denying the EDL access to Broadgate Square, in the centre of the city.

Today was a brilliant effort by all who attended the demonstration and is a solid basis from which to organise future events in the city.

No to racism in Coventry

No to racism in Coventry

Members of the Socialist Party and Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition built for the demonstration in the weeks beforehand and were present today. Party members distributed leaflets, placards and made speeches highlighting the connections between racism and capitalism. This socialist analysis really struck a chord with many participants looking for solutions to racism and the capitalist system itself.

The text of the leaflet we distributed is below. We have quoted Malcolm X who stated

‘You cannot have capitalism without racism’.

If you agree with this, we urge you to fill in the form at the bottom, to join the struggle for socialism!

KICK RACISM OUT OF COVENTRY! FIGHT FOR SOCIALISM!

Unite against racism in Coventry

This Saturday the English Defence League (EDL) have come to Coventry with the intent to divide our communities and attempt to turn workers against each other through the use of racist rhetoric and playing on fearful insecurities. They come to Coventry – a city renowned for its anti-racist culture found in its famous Ska music to its many workers from around the world working side by side –  to try intimidate and put the ills of society at the foot of religious and ethnic minorities.

Far-right have no answers, just ‘simple lies’

During these times of austerity, racism in its many forms, attempts to divide us. Today, as its weak and crumbling mouthpiece, the EDL attempts to shift the blame for austerity cuts on migrants and minorities in society. However it was not Pakistani nurses and Romanian bus drivers that caused the financial crash, and it’s not them pursuing an agenda of cuts and privatisation and attack workers on a daily basis. That role is reserved for exploitative bosses, the Tory government, and merciless capitalism.

Every day workers in Britain face greater exploitation and see vital services, from the NHS to education, being cut by the Conservative government and passed on by Labour councils.

While Britain is being run for the benefit of the 1% at the expense of the 99% this creates understandable and justified anger in society. However the far right try to capitalise on this anger by peddling simple lies being backed up by right-wing tabloids and politicians trying to divide and conquer over the 99% in society.

But what does the likes of the EDL have to offer as an alternative to endless austerity in food bank Britain? Nothing!

The EDL put forward no vision for reversing the cuts that destroy people’s lives, have no plan for housing, jobs, education, vital services but instead do the dirty work of the establishment by distracting people and misguiding the justified anger in society at fellow workers instead of bosses’ politicians.

That is why it is so important for workers and youth to mobilise any time racism and fascism rears its ugly head in society, in order to cut across the vicious lies they put forward and to not let those truly to blame for society’s ills to get away with it.

Socialist Alternative

The EDL and the far-right will be defeated and driven back today, their lies exposed and attempt at division met with solidarity and unity. However racism in society will not just end and pack up its bags and go away. To truly end racism we cannot just merely treat the symptoms of racism – we must eradicate its causes. We must end exploitation, build houses for all, create secure and well paid jobs for all, distribute the £billions of society’s wealth to where it is needed most like health and education not just horded away by the super-rich.

None of this is possible under the current race to bottom of this profit-driven capitalist system.

We need a system that works in the interests of the 99% not the profits of the 1%!

We need socialism!

Malcolm X ‘’You cannot have capitalism without racism’’

Agree? Fill in the form below