Thousands to march against Trump state visit as MPs debate 1.85mn-strong petition
The protests are being held in solidarity with migrants and refugees who have recently seen their rights threatened by Trump’s travel ban, which attempted to temporarily bar immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US.
The protests come as Parliament is due to debate a petition signed by 1.85 million people calling for Trump to be banned from coming to the UK on an official state visit, as it would be an “embarrassment to the Her Majesty the Queen.”
The government has already rejected the petition, however, saying it will "extend the full courtesy of a state visit”.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, himself a Muslim, is among those supporting the protests against Trump’s “cruel” and “shameful” travel ban.
“I think this ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries, ending the refugee programme is cruel and it’s shameful,” Khan told ITV’s ‘Peston on Sunday’ show.
“In those circumstances we shouldn’t be rolling out the red carpet.”
Protests will be held in London, Manchester, Bristol, Cardiff and Birmingham by campaign groups Stop Trump Coalition and Stand Up To Racism.
Up to 14,000 people are expected to rally in London.
Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, who will speak in Parliament Square on Monday evening, said: “The planned state visit should clearly be cancelled – and the invitation binned.
“It’s no wonder that almost 2 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.”
While opposing Trump, One Day Without Us activist Fizza Qureshi has also taken the opportunity to criticize the UK government for failing to do enough in support of migrants.
“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,” Qureshi said.
“They have just scrapped the Dubs Agreement, and are refusing to give any guarantees to the 3 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.”
Prime Minister Theresa May has faced criticism for being too quick in extending an invitation to Trump just seven days after he was sworn in as president.
By comparison, his predecessor Barack Obama was invited to the UK 758 days after his inauguration, while George Bush waited just over two and a half years before being invited.