Ceredigion Stop the War at the Trump Demo, London, 13th July 2018
Words by Dave Rendle
Yesterday, I was at one of the most diverse, vibrant demonstrations, I have been to for years, proudly joining over 250,000 people as we stood together against the divisive, bigoted, climate-denying, policies of Donald Trump. It was the biggest protest against Trump outside the US to date, and despite the vitriol of our slogans and chants, the mood was a festive one of jubilation and defiance, rather than aggression. We basked in the glorious sunshine in a carnival of resistance. A very special day as our humanity was shared.
People young and old from many different walks of life, gathered at Portland Square from around 2pm, marching to Trafalgar Square for a mass rally that featured politicians David Lammy MP and the Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, as well as columnist Owen Jones.
In a video posted on Twitter, Corbyn described the Trump administration policies “as putting the lives and wellbeing of millions of people at risk.”
Corbyn also criticised Theresa May for her red carpet welcome, despite Trump, “Repeatedly trampling on the most basic fundamental rights that all of us hold dear… Our democracy comes from popular action, our right to demonstrate in this Square was hard fought for and hard won, the right of women to vote was hard fought for and hard won. We’re asserting our rights to demonstrate and live in a world that’s not divided by misogyny, racism and hate.” To huge cheers, he said, “We come together because I wish to live in a world of peace, not war. I wish to live in a world where refugees are not blamed for the wars that they are victims of, When we divide ourselves by xenophobia we all lose, when we unite around common objectives we can all win.”
Together, we managed to show our solidarity with those marginalised groups that have born the brunt of Trump’s regressive points of view, making international headlines. At the same time, we managed to send a clear message to our own government that we won’t accept or tolerate the dangerous actions of the US president, or allow them to become the norm and acceptable.
As the rally came to a close, people cooled down from a long hot day of protest by splashing in the fountain in the middle of Trafalgar Square, and despite the many mishaps of the return journey (getting gridlocked, flooded, even a minor breakdown), meaning we didn’t arrive back in Ceredigion until sunrise, I believe a positive day was had by us all, a truly momentous occasion of political significance.
When we fight back together, in solidarity, we are more powerful, our love will always trump hate.
The huge turnout was a huge victory for everyone fighting racism, sexism and austerity. My thoughts are with those marching again today against supporters of fascist Tommy Robinson who are gathering in central London.
Dave is an active member of Ceredigion Stop the War Coalition. The above was originally published on his blog site, Teifidancer.