A World to Win News Service for 17 July 2018 contains two articles. They may be reproduced or used in any way, in whole or in part, as long as they are credited.
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“Hey Trump what do you say, how many kids did you cage today?”
Mass protests repudiate Trump visit to the UK
17 July 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 programme, 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 US 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 US 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 US regime led by an outright fascist aggressively implementing an America First programme. How would that jibe with their own reactionary programme 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 US) where he said the UK would have to turn its back on the EU completely if it wanted “a deal” with the US. Trump went on to say he’d advised May on how to do Brexit, but, he added patronisingly, “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 programme. 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 US took part – several carried signs proclaiming their outrage at the US 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, organised in the English Defence 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-metre 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 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 minimised 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 programme.
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 www.revcom.us/a/009/avakian-fascists-destruction-weimar.htm)
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17 July 2018. A World to Win News Service. Following is a leaflet by the Revolutionary Communist Manifesto Group given out during Trump’s visit to the UK.
Trump’s coming to assert his “America First” programme, normalize his position as fascist-in-chief of US imperialism, and strengthen fascist forces in Britain and throughout Europe. The most reactionary US Supreme Court in generations isn’t going to stop him, nor is the US Congress. Nothing less than an unprecedented outpouring of mass sustained resistance has a chance. But the Trump-Pence regime is not just “America’s problem”: Trump’s an American Hitler, with nukes – think about what that means for the world! This regime is vigorously promoting fascist forces from Italy to Poland, Hungary and beyond.
How did humanity reach this point? There’s a system giving rise to these monsters – a capitalist-imperialist system whose workings have led to the unravelling of the post-World War 2 liberal democratic governance, and now to the rise of fascists fighting to take their place. It is a system that can be ended only through revolution to overthrow capitalism and take humanity to a world free of all social divisions where humans cooperate and are organised in a sustainable way with the rest of nature – communism. Sound unrealistic? What’s unrealistic is thinking that this system can be reformed to make it come anywhere near being in the interests of the great majority of oppressed humanity.
The Trump-Pence regime is rapidly transforming the US towards fascism. Armed US border guards rip toddlers out of their parents’ hands in the name of “America First”; women are increasingly treated like Handmaid’s Tale breeders, and LGBTQ rights threatened; Trump praises Ku Klux Klan thugs as “fine people” and gives the cops the green light to sow racist terror in the ghettos; he threatens nuclear terror to intimidate US rivals and beat nations into submission; the existing pitifully inadequate environmental protection is shredded even as Earth moves ever faster towards planetary meltdown…. Everything reactionary and abhorrent about what US capitalist- imperialism has done for generations is being ramped up, even threatening the future of humanity itself.
Prime Minister Theresa May and the Tories back the US on almost every major issue internationally. Enough said! Many hope Labour will “stand up” to Trump – but take a closer look. Labour opposes a “state visit”, with a royal carriage ride down the Mall, but argues that, given the “special relationship”, sooner or later there must be an “official visit”! But what is this “special relationship” but a relationship where Britain partners US imperialism in plundering the world’s oppressed!? Labour decries how Trump is opposed to “British values”. But what values are these!? Values that have seen two decades of imperialist war ravage the Middle East? Or Britain’s bombing of Syria, contributing to devastation that has driven millions of Syrians into exile, refugees who are then brutally turned away from Fortress Britain and Europe! Fighting Trump and his blood-soaked programme of “Make America White Again”, xenophobia and misogny through normal channels under the Union Jack will only lead to arguing over what’s best for “our” nation, “our” imperialism, and ultimately to accommodation and conciliation with fascism.
No! Learn from the stand taken in the US by Refuse Fascism: In the name of humanity, drive out this fascist regime. Check out refusefascism.org, and join this Friday 13th in an outpouring of resistance that gives heart to resisters in the US and worldwide.
We revolutionary communists recognise the giant danger posed by the Trump-Pence regime and the incalculable harm it can do to the planet and its people, and support every effort to drive it out before it’s too late. But we refuse a return to “normal” liberal democratic capitalism, a horror for most of the world’s people. We need a revolutionary alternative to a world divided into social classes, with wealth and power on one side and exploited labour and poverty on the other, where a few nations feed on the rest, where women are subordinated to men, and all its other divisions and social and racial inequalities. There is the understanding of how to go beyond this through a real revolution – the overthrow of the capitalists and the existing state and their replacement by a revolutionary power based on a class of proletarians with nothing to lose but their chains. A power that acts as a base area to free the world of all such divisions and enables humanity to forge relations based on conscious cooperation. The new communism developed by Bob Avakian flows from his synthesis of the experience of the first wave of socialist revolutions in the 20th century. Go to revcom.us and watch Avakian’s analysis of the Trump regime and how to fight it at revcom.us. Share this with everyone you know. And contact the revolution here: firstname.lastname@example.org
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