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Newcastle Crowd Turns out in Protest Against Trump State Visit

 

Over 1000 people gathered in in the centre of Newcastle to vent their disapproval at the governments decision to award Donald Trump the honour of a state visit.

It was part of a nationwide protest involving cities including London, Cardiff, Manchester, Leeds and Edinburgh.

Taken from the Stop Trump Coalition website this map shows the major cities involved n the protest.

As the crowd repeatedly chanted “Donald Trump not welcome here”, many protestors accused the President of sexism, homophobia and xenophobia.

Grandmother Barbara Bowe said: “I came here to protest against the 45th President and his misogynistic ways. He doesn’t think before he speaks. He wants to build walls between countries rather than bridges.”

Grandmother Barbara Bowes

The event was organised by Newcastle Unite and attracted a range of different speakers to the protest.

Gateshead town Councillor, Mary Foy, reassured the crowd that no local money would go towards funding any state visit.

She said: “This man has shown himself to be a racist, a sexist and homophobe. I can assure you that Gateshead council will not be providing any money for this state visit and urge other councils to do the same.”

Gateshead Councillor Mary Foy

Newcastle Unite activist, Cathy Holmes, spoke to crowd. She said: “We do not want to honour this man at all.”

“We don’t want to give anyone the opportunity to to say that we endorse or confirm any of his racist or misogynist views.”

“This government may dismiss our protest as futile but we are gathered here in solidarity to say not in our name.”

Click on the link below to here more from Cathy’s speech.

Some of the protestors believe the actions of Theresa May are part of the post Brexit fall out and the pressing need of the government to develop and strengthen connections with countries outside of Europe.

Comedian Matt Hoss, 23, said: “I feel Theresa May is having to gain favour with Trump due to the increased dependency on the USA after Brexit.”

“Trump is now her line of security over the  next few years.”

Comedian Matt Hoss, 23.

Since 1952, only two previous presidents have been awarded the honour of a state visit.

As well as disagreeing with his policies, many protestors simply feel the government have been far too hasty.

Photographer John Falconer, 46, attended the protest with his daughter.

He said: “It is ridiculous to allow him to come over so quickly. He shouldn’t be coming.”

Mr Hoss said: “It took Obama years to be awarded a state visit. Trump was given this honour after 7 days  in office.”

John Falconer, 46, along with his daughter.

The protest not only attracted people of  different ages but also from a whole range of nationalities.

The country which has felt the implications of the Trump election more than most is Mexico.

Erika Servin, 45, who currently lives and works in Newcastle, is a Mexican citizen who felt it was important to attend the protest to “represent my country”.

She was concerned for her family back home and in particular the potential impact of the Trump administration on the Mexican population currently living in the USA.

“People back home are terrified as to what this man may do.”

“What worries me most is what will happen to those Mexican people who live in the USA.”

“It has however brought a sense of dignity to the Mexican people. It has made Mexico look towards other countries and to no longer be reliant on the USA.”

Mexican Citizen Erika Servin, 45.

 

Coinciding with these protests is an online petition which has so far attracted 1,861,184 online signatures.

It is the  scale of this response which has triggered yesterday’s parliamentary debate.

Conservative MP, Nigel Evans, has defended the visit. “I have seen no evidence of racism from Donald Trump.”

“We are actually attacking the American people – the 61 million who democratically elected him,” he said.

A second online petition endorsing the visit has also been set up which has attracted 315,019 rival signatures, 1.5 million fewer than its rival.

Despite such strong public feelings, the government looks set to reject the Anti Trump petition and has insisted that the state visit will go ahead.

Although disappointed with with the governments stance, the majority of protestors still felt it was worthwhile coming together to protest.

Conceding that the protest is unlikely to cause the  government to change its mind, Mr Falconer said: “I don’t think it will stop him coming.”

“However I do think it is important that people have their say that this is not on. It is just not acceptable.”

Mrs Bowe said: “I want to be able to say to my grandchildren that I stood against this President and his lies about other people. I didn’t just  sit at home and do nothing.”

 

 

 

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