From A World to Win News Service

“Hey Trump what do you say,
how many kids did you cage today?”

Mass protests repudiate Trump visit to the UK

| Revolution Newspaper |


Protest against Trump's visit to the UK, Trafalgar Square, July 13. Photo: Sipa USA via AP

July 17, 2018. A World to Win News Service. As Trump landed in Britain on 12 July following the NATO summit where he had shaken up the post-WW2 liberal-democratic imperialist consensus by aggressively asserting his America First program, every political force in the UK took a stand.

The prospect of a visit by the American fascist-in-chief had aroused fierce infighting among the British ruling class and revulsion among millions when it had first been announced, shortly after Trump took office in 2017. Trump had postponed planned UK visits on three occasions since then in the face of announced mass protests. He had even said that he didn’t want to come until he “felt welcome.” But that day never came—and he was here anyhow.

British Prime Minister Theresa May had originally invited Trump for a state visit, meaning a meeting with the Queen in Buckingham Palace and a royal carriage procession through central London. That was cancelled in the face of the certainty of huge protests, and the visit was downgraded to an “official visit.” But even that had to be seriously curtailed, and in the end Trump avoided central London almost entirely, limiting himself to helicoptering into the heavily fortified U.S. Ambassador’s estate in the middle of one of London’s royal parks, Regent’s Park, to spend one night. Even there almost 1,000 protesters spent the evening at the Ambassador’s gates—there was widespread determination that Trump would not go anywhere without facing visible noisy opposition.

The next day 150,000 to 200,000 demonstrators took to the streets of London as Trump flew from the Prime Minister’s country estate to the Queen’s Windsor Castle home well outside London, where he was also met by thousands of protesters. Many tens of thousands of others also marched in Manchester, Edinburgh, and other cities around the UK.

Trump arrived amidst great turmoil in the British ruling class in the wake of the June 2017 referendum that approved the country’s departure from the European Union (“Brexit”). Leading up to the referendum, the nationalist, anti-immigrant stand at the heart of Brexit had gained significant support from on high, in particular from reactionaries who looked to the “special relationship” with the U.S. and were less keen on staying with the Germany-led European Union. But the shock of Brexit was followed soon thereafter by the shock of Trump’s victory—and many lukewarm Brexiteers now got cold feet at the prospect of leaning more heavily on a U.S. regime led by an outright fascist aggressively implementing an America First program. How would that jibe with their own reactionary program of “Put the ‘Great’ back in Great Britain”?!

The ensuing infighting over how to deal with Brexit has been ripping apart Britain’s two main parties, Labour and the governing Tories. Only days before Trump’s arrival two leading Brexiteers, including Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, resigned from the Cabinet, threatening to bring down the government for an attempt at compromise with the European Union. In an unprecedented breach of diplomacy, Trump, who labelled the EU a “foe,” gave an interview to the Sun (linked to Fox News in the U.S.) where he said the UK would have to turn its back on the EU completely if it wanted “a deal” with the U.S. Trump went on to say he’d advised May on how to do Brexit, but, he added patronizingly, “she didn’t listen to me.” He then proclaimed his support for his “friend,” May’s arch-rival Johnson, to replace her as Prime Minister—only hours before he was to meet May. The powerful right-wing tabloid media exulted, proclaiming “Trump’s right!,” swelling the already powerful tides of nationalism and xenophobia surging through Britain—but also arousing furious reaction from other quarters.

There was another force active too: the hundreds of thousands who reject Trump’s message and opposed his visit, up and down the country, and hate the British government’s accommodation of Trump and his program. Confronted at a press conference with the immensity of the protest, Trump declared that most people in Britain actually liked him, and in particular that “I think they agree with me about immigration.” Coming in the wake of the images of toddlers torn from their immigrant parents’ arms and cowering before America’s armed border guards, this was a cold-blooded appeal to call out the worst in people. Fiercely rejecting this, one popular chant at the mass protests was, “Hey Trump what do you say, How many kids did you cage today!”

A wide range of different forces pulled together for the protests against Trump: a distinct Women’s March brought many thousands onto the streets. An LBGTQ contingent gathered, alongside Trans against Trump, Trumpets against Trump, and many others. Many people from the U.S. took part—several carried signs proclaiming their outrage at the U.S. Embassy’s ridiculous warning to Americans in London to “exercise caution” during Trump’s visit lest they be accosted by the English—instead of warmly embraced, as they were in fact.

There was an atmosphere of celebration of diversity in the protest that many consciously conceived as a clear rejection of Trump’s politics of division, white supremacy, misogyny, and nationalism. But also notable was a growing awareness of the very real danger represented by Trump, and like-minded fascist forces in Britain and throughout Europe. A recognition of Trump’s fascist character, and as one sign put it, the “clear and present danger” he presents to the very existence of humanity, while still resisted by many on the parliamentary left, was more widespread than at earlier demonstrations.

The reality of this fascist danger was brought home vividly on Saturday: hard-core fascist groups, organized in the English Defense League—whose supporters burst into mosques and chant “Muslims go home—England for the English”—staged a march to support Trump and defend one of their imprisoned leaders. While prior to Trump’s election it was rare to see more than 50 or 100 fascists at such gatherings, this time, riding on Trump’s message, some 2,000 showed up in central London. They were met by a similar number of anti-fascist protesters.

Over the course of the three days of protest, a multinational team of supporters of Bob Avakian’s New Communism raised banners and posters with slogans such as “Drive out the Fascist Trump/Pence Regime in the Name of Humanity” and “Overthrow the capitalist-imperialist system that gives rise to such monsters, through revolution.” Some 3,500 copies of a flyer that ended with a call to check out BA’s analysis of the Trump regime and to engage with the New Communism were distributed at the three days of protests. Alongside them supporters of the Communist Party of Iran (MLM) also carried a three-meter banner proclaiming, “Down with Imperialism! Down with the Islamic Republic of Iran! Long Live the Socialist Republic of Iran!” This was an important reminder of the Trump/Pence regime’s growing threat to attack Iran. There were similar scenes at an earlier march of several thousand people against the NATO summit in Brussels, Trump’s first stop in Europe.

Flying in the sky above the London march and other protests was a huge balloon depicting Trump as a baby in nappies (diapers). While there was concern among many that this minimized the very serious danger the Trump regime represents, London’s mayor Sadiq Khan, a major Labour Party figure and one of Trump’s most outspoken critics, was criticized for allowing this “insult” to a visiting dignitary by politicians and commentators—most of whom could not muster a single word of condemnation for Trump’s Muslim ban, his child separation policy, or any of the rest of his fascist program.

While many people were receptive to the message in the flyer that the “normal channels” of parliamentary democracy were not going to stop Trump, that what was urgently needed was sustained mass protest from below, when the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, took to the stage to address the protest rally of 100,000+, there was near-universal cheering. This was a sobering sign of powerful tendencies, among even the best of those opposed to Trump and what he represents, to seek shelter from the rising fascist storm under the protective wings of powerful forces high within the existing system. It once again demonstrated the urgent need to bring together those with a clearer understanding of how the capitalist system works, how the point is not to fight the fascists from the perspective of returning to the “Weimar Republic”—the “normal” liberal-democratic system of governance of capitalist-imperialism—but from the perspective of bringing forward a revolutionary alternative. (See Avakian on “The Fascists and the Destruction on the ‘Weimar Republic’... And What Will Replace It” at


On March 17, 2017, A World to Win News Service (AWTWNS) announced its transformation into a more thorough-going tool for revolution based on Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism. Read its “Editorial: Introducing a transformed AWTWNS” here.

London, July 13. Photo: A World To Win News Service

Protest against Trump's visit to the UK, Trafalgar Square, July 13. Photo: Sipa USA via AP

London, July 13. Photo: A World To Win News Service

London, July 13. Photo: A World To Win News Service

Also from A World to Win News Service:

“We need not reform,
but revolution!
Trump's coming –
No business as usual!”

Read more

London, July 13. Photo: A World To Win News Service

Get a free email subscription to

Volunteers Needed... for and Revolution

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.