Yesterday I spoke at the Leicester demonstration against President Trump and what he stands for. This is the speech as written (there may have been more than a few divergences in delivery!).
Speech to Trump protest 13th July 2018
Why is this protest against Donald Trump’s visit important? We’ve hard won rights in this country like that which we celebrated in this town with the unveiling of the Alice Hawkins statue celebrating 100 years of some women getting the vote.
Rights that have been shared by a community of nations.
Principles of respect and non-discrimination on the grounds of gender, race or sexual orientation.
These principles need to be preserved. They are preserved by civilised countries and people coming together to show what is okay and what’s not okay.
And that is what this is all about.
We have a President in the White House who is a proven racist and mysognist. And he is using the highest office in the world’s most powerful country to attack the hard-won values and freedoms that people, particularly from the Labour movement, have fought hard to win and retain.
So today is about saying enough is enough.
We cannot stand by as someone in his position:
- Repeatedly objectifies and abuses women.
- Repeatedly behaves in a racist manner.
- Condones police brutality.
- Puts into place migration policies that single out countries on the basis of religion.
- Propagates the most hostile environment for migrants. Seperating children from their families at the border and caging them. Potentially never to be reunited.
And today is as much about what sort of country we want to be, as what sort of president Mr Trump is.
Because we see some of these characteristics coming into our politics. The complete absence of humanity shown to people of colour in our migration policies. The ongoing failure to address gender imbalances. Narrow parochialism and casual xenophobia that has become so mainstream.
Well, enough is enough.
And we have a choice to make. As our values are being challenged here and abroad, we have the rise of strongmen, from China, to Russia, to Turkey. Free-speech, LGBT rights being challenged, gender equality failing to progress.
Do we turn a blind-eye for the sake of some mythical special economic relationship with a demagogue who has already rewarded our loyalty with massive trade barriers? Or do we use this opportunity to say to Trump, they way you talk, the way you act, the way you are trying to lead the Western world, it’s not okay, it has to stop, the world is watching you and will not dance to your tune.
So we should be proud of the reception we are giving Mr Trump, because this is who we are, and this is the the direction that the world should be going in.
Mr Trump you’re not welcome here.