On Monday 20th February, as MPs debate the proposed official state visit of US President Donald Trump, people across the UK will gather to protest Trump’s racist agenda and the UK government’s support, and to celebrate migrant solidarity in Britain and Europe. The anti-trump coalition has joined forces with the One Day Without Us migrant solidarity initiative planned for February 20th in what will now be a massive, national protest.
We’ll be in Manchester on the day with local groups involved in These Walls Must Fall: click here to find out about community activism in the afternoon and here to find out about the Manchester #StopTrump protest
President Trump’s executive order, which has become known as ‘the Muslim Ban’, has brought the US refugee programme to a complete halt for 120 days while ‘extreme vetting’ is put in place. Syrian refugees have been indefinitely banned from the country, along with all migrants from seven ‘blacklisted’ countries: Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Syria. For 90 days no visas will be issued from these countries.
In the United States, the move has been met with widespread opposition. Sixteen state attorneys have condemned the order as unconstitutional, with several federal judges halting the deportation of visa holders and lawyers joining protesters at airports across the country to offer their services for free to those detained. Even passengers already mid-flight and with valid US visas or immigration permits have been detained on arrival in the US.
While strong opposition and deep concerns have been voiced by heads of state across Europe and the world, here in the UK Prime Minister Theresa May simply said that she ‘did not agree’ with the measures. But the reaction from the British public has been much stronger. On Monday, thousands gathered in Edinburgh, Cardiff, Manchester and Birmingham to voice their opposition, with 10,000 demonstrating in London. A petition calling on May to scrap Trump’s state visit to Britain rapidly passed 1.5 million signatures. A broad coalition of MPs, trade unions, civil society organisations and public figures have issued a joint letter opposing Trump’s ‘toxic agenda’ and the Stop Trump Coalition is already mobilising broad support for a massive demonstration to oppose the visit.
Alarmed and galvanised by Trump’s actions and the lack of a strong response from our own government, thousands more people are now demonstrating a new willingness to stand up against racism and build a movement that can defend migrant’s rights on both sides of the ocean, understanding that the politics of division and hatred threaten the welfare, civil liberties and human rights of us all. So wherever you are and however you get involved, now is the moment to become part of that movement.
20th February is shaping up to be a massive day of action and solidarity across the UK. For months, migrant communities, solidarity volunteers and allies in the social justice and anti-racist movements have been working together to organise the 1 Day Without Us national day of action. In towns and cities across the country, people will be working in their communities to organise actions that highlight the contribution migrants make to our society. And now, with a vibrant movement against Trump’s state visit, thousands more people will be coming out on the same day with a singular message both for Trump and Theresa May:
no to the politics of division and hatred, yes to diversity and yes to humanity.
The Stop Trump coalition has said:On February 20th, we are calling for a nationwide day of action under the banner of ‘Defend migrants, stop Trump’. This will coincide with the parliamentary debate on the almost 2 million-strong petition to cancel Donald Trump’s state visit.
But we won’t be doing it alone. For many months, activists all over the country have been planning a day of action on February 20th around migrants’ rights. One Day Without Us is an initiative to show how much migrants contribute to British society, and has events all over the country.
In fighting the racism of Donald Trump, we are holding up a mirror to our own government’s complicity in supporting him, and our own country’s own disgraceful record of scapegoating and attacking migrants and refugees.
One Day Without Us is part of a growing movement that represents the polar opposite of Donald Trump – a fight for a world where people are welcomed, valued and celebrated regardless of where they were born or what passport they hold.
If you’re organising a Stop Trump rally or march on February 20th, you should find out whether there is already a One Day Without Us demo in your area (you can do this using their website). If there is one already, don’t organise a separate one – join up the protests.
There are also all kinds of non-protest events taking place as part of One Day Without Us, ranging from a mass lobby of parliament at 2.30pm to cultural events and celebrations all over the country. We encourage everyone to attend and support these events.
In Manchester on Monday, Right to Remain is hosting an open meeting with local groups to share ideas: whether it’s ideas for social events, community activism, banner drops or protest activity, we want to hear what you think and create a space for you to connect with others to help make your idea happen.
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