As one of the final acts of her disastrous reign as Prime Minister, Theresa May welcomed Donald Trump for an official state visit to the UK.
After spending almost three years trying - and failing - to find a Brexit deal that can pass through Parliament, May no doubt wanted to obtain an advantageous trade deal with President Trump, with access to the NHS dangled as a bargaining chip.
To achieve this, the British establishment arranged the traditional pomp and circumstance, costing the public an estimated £40 million.
However, there was less of a welcome waiting for the US President outside of Buckingham Palace and Downing Street. 50,000 protestors had gathered in Trafalgar Square to make the true views of the people heard.
People were there not just to protest against the way that the Tory government has put the interests of British capitalism over the needs of ordinary people when negotiating. But also, activists stood in solidarity with those in America and across the world that Trump and his reactionary administration have attacked.
Protestors stood in solidarity with Venezuela, Palestine, and other nations that have been victims of American imperialism; with refugees and immigrants; and against the racism and misogyny of Donald Trump and his bigoted admirers.
These aren’t simply new problems caused by Trump, however. Trump is the symptom of a decaying system. His vileness is a reflection of the rotten system he represents. That he appears so abhorrent is only because, unlike his liberal predecessors, he irresponsibly allows the mask to slip when it comes to concealing the real ugly face of capitalism and imperialism.
There were fewer people at yesterday’s protest than the one that greeted the President’s visit last year. And many of the slogans and speeches had more to do with Trump’s contemptible personality than with his reactionary policies. Nevertheless, the message was still made loud and clear: Trump is not welcome here!
Solidarity between the British, American and international working classes is of fundamental importance. But we must go further than simply opposing Trump. Another Republican or Democratic president would offer little change. What is needed in America is a mass socialist party that represents the interests of the working class.
Similarly, in Britain, whoever replaces May as Prime Minister will continue the attacks on workers and migrants. We must fight against our own ruling class, kick out all the Tories, and bring in a socialist Labour government that puts forward radical policies, giving hope and inspiration to the working and youth across the world.
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