Protests as British MPs clash on Trump visit


Organizers said the protests, which they hope will last several days and follow Trump throughout his United Kingdom visit, would also "hold up a mirror to our own society" over the post-Brexit rise in hate crime and anti-immigrant rhetoric.

It was prompted by a petition signed by 1.8 million people calling for Trump's visit to be downgraded, and came as thousands protested against his arrival outside the gates of the Palace of Westminster.

Protesters carrying colourful placards and banners gathered in the square shortly before 4pm, where separate groups led rallying cries, including "Hey hey, hey ho; Trump and Brexit's got to go", and "No Trump, no Brexit; no racist European Union exit".

Separate demonstrations against the US President and in support of immigrants were being held in other cities including Liverpool, Manchester, Brighton, Bristol, Leeds, Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Labour's Paul Flynn said that only two USA presidents had been accorded a state visit to Britain in more than half a century and it was "completely unprecedented" that Trump had been issued his within seven days of his presidency.

This debate isn't going to change anything, the petition isn't going to change anything, the state visit is going to go ahead, Donald Trump is going to meet the Queen.

The rally in Parliament Square, which organisers claimed will attract more than 20,000 people, will be addressed by speakers including joint Green Party leader Caroline Lucas and comic Shappi Khorsandi. "All I'm saying is most of us would be rather embarrassed if everything we ever said in private in our past (was broadcast)".

In addition to the petition, 14,000 Londoners have planned to gather outside Parliament this week against Trump in a protest called "Defend Migrants, Stop Trump". Journalist and anti-Trump activist Owen Jones predicted that it could draw the "biggest protest in British history", The Independent reports.

Celebrities including Paloma Faith are backing the action, and she said: "I'm backing the protests because I believe in human rights and compassion and Trump evidently does not".

The 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, and First Lady Michelle are in the UK for a two day State Visit at the invitation of HM Queen Elizabeth II. "We look forward to welcoming President Trump once dates and arrangements are finalised".

Opposition to Trump's visit gained momentum after he imposed a 90-day travel ban - later blocked by federal courts in the United States - on nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Mrs May has been criticised for offering Mr Trump a state visit too soon in his already highly controversial presidency.

"In those circumstances we shouldn't be rolling out the red carpet". The petition supporting Trump's visit got 311,000 signatures.