Hundreds took to the streets of Belfast last week to protest US President Donald Trump’s visit to the United Kingdom, in solidarity with tens of thousands of protesters across London and Scotland. Protesters of all ages attended, and dozens of signs opposing Trump featured; including ones that read “Belfast says no to Trump”, “Trump is a super-villain”, and “No Trump, no DUP, no fascist GB”.
During his visit he met with Prime Minister Theresa May, who he criticised for her handling of Brexit, only to apologise later. At a press conference he praised the relationship between the USA and Britain: “I would give our relationship, in terms of great, the highest level of special”. May supported this, claiming that “no two countries do more together than ours to keep their people safe and prosperous”. Despite May’s relationship with the Northern Irish DUP party (who are not popular among those who attended), many protesters disagree with both her handling of Brexit and her attempt to present her alliance with Trump as a positive thing for the UK.
Trump then met with Queen Elizabeth II at Winsor Castle, where he broke several royal visit traditions and protocols, including walking in front of her majesty. It has been revealed recently that Prince Charles and Prince William refused to meet the President during the visit.
The White House then reported that Trump was “leaving the UK” – while en route to Scotland.
Amongst the crowd on Friday were Amnesty International QUB. Activist Jason Bunting, who attended the protest, provided us with this statement:
“Amnesty QUB was proud to stand against the Trump administration today by protesting outside City Hall in an atmosphere electrified by resistance to the bigotry and hatred which the US President feeds off.
What we saw today in the streets of Belfast was solidarity shown by NI citizens both with Americans as well as with the tens of thousands of people all over the United Kingdom protesting President Trump. It was solidarity with the women who fear for their reproductive rights in the wake of Trump’ nominees to the Supreme Court. It was solidarity with migrant families fleeing violence and persecution, separated at the border by the cruel policies of the Trump administration. And it was solidarity with every citizen both in the US and the UK who oppose his reckless and dangerous policies on climate change and the Middle East.
This is by no means the end of protest against Trump and every student is welcome to join us as we continue to stand for human rights and against hate.”