Tens of thousands expected to march across UK demanding Donald Trump's state visit be cancelled

Protests will also focus on defending migrants' rights in the face of the US President's immigration policies 

Chloe Farand
Sunday 19 February 2017 18:11 GMT
Protesters marched from the US embassy to Downing Street in a previous demonstration
Protesters marched from the US embassy to Downing Street in a previous demonstration (Getty)

Tens of thousands of people are expected to take to the streets on Monday to demand Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK be cancelled.

Protests have been organised in cities around the country from Plymouth to Inverness, including in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Cardiff, as part of a nationwide day of action.

This comes as Parliament is due to debate the US President’s state visit on Monday after nearly two million people signed a petition calling for it to be cancelled.

The Government officially rejected the petition and in a statement said it did not agree with the request and would extend “the full courtesy of a state visit” to the US President.

Downing Street also refused to rule out moving the state visit to Birmingham in the hope of avoiding protests.

But the Government is compelled to respond to all petitions that receive more than 10,000 signatures, and to consider for debate in Parliament those that reach over 100,000.

A coalition of campaign groups called the day of action as pressure mounts on Theresa May over the visit, which could take place this summer.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan also called for the state visit to be scrapped in opposition to his “cruel and shameful” travel ban.

The Stop Trump Coalition and Stand up To Racism are coordinating the events, which will also focus on defending migrants’ rights in reaction to Mr Trump’s immigration policies and his “Muslim travel ban”.

In London’s Parliament Square, a number of high profile speakers will address the crowd, including British activist Salma Yaqoob, Green MP Caroline Lucas, Talha Ahmad from the Muslim Council of Britain, and Guardian columnist Owen Jones.

Other organisations such as the Everyday Bigotry Project, Sisters Uncut, Black Lives Matter UK and Friends of the Earth are backing the march.

Singer Paloma Faith is also supporting the protests and said: “I’m backing the protests because I believe in human rights and compassion and Trump evidently does not.”

Throughout the day, dozens of actions are taking place all around the country coordinated by One Day Without Us, a movement set up to celebrate the contribution of immigrants to British society and campaign for migrants’ rights.

This includes smaller events for people to come together, share their stories and celebrate the contribution of migrants to the UK. The full list of events can be found here.

Ms Lucas said: “The planned state visit should clearly be cancelled – and the invitation binned. It’s no wonder that almost two million people have signed a petition against the visit, and I’m proud that so many of my constituents have joined that call.

“On Monday evening I will be joining thousands of others in calling out Trump’s islamophobia and racism – and making it clear that we expect our Government to stand up to bigotry, not meekly back away from confronting it.”

Fizza Qureshi, from One Day Without Us, said: “Donald Trump’s animosity towards migrants and muslims has shocked the world. But it should also shock the world how migrants and refugees in the UK have been scapegoated.

“They have just scrapped the Dubs Agreement, and are refusing to give any guarantees to the three million EU nationals living in the UK, whilst creating a hostile environment for undocumented migrants. Migrants are not a drain on our society, and are not bargaining chips in negotiations – they are people with lives, who make a huge contribution to Britain.”

Asad Rehman, from Friends of the Earth, said: “On Monday, Parliament will debate one of the largest public petitions in history demanding that Donald Trump’s agenda of climate denialism, bigotry and division not be given the red carpet treatment by Theresa May. The Prime Minister would do well to listen to those voices and ensure she is on the right side of history and decency.”

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