Anti-racist and anti-fascist activists will assemble in Edinburgh on 7 December
A PROTEST spurred by President Donald Trump’s retweeting and apparent endorsement of the far-right Britain First organisation will be held by anti-fascist and anti-racist campaigners in Edinburgh on Thursday, 7 December.
Late month, Trump shared a series of Islamophobic tweets from Britain First, including a video originally shared by the group’s deputy leader Jayda Fransen, claiming to show “Muslim migrants beating up a Dutch boy on crutches.”
Subsequent reposts by Trump were captioned “Muslim destroys statue of Virgin Mary” and “Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death”.
The Independent newspaper reported that the content of the videos or their origin could not be independently verified, but also pointed to “local reports” indicating that the first video was taken during riots surrounding the coup against former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi by General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in 2013, and that the victim was likely a Muslim himself.
Similarly, local media reported that the attacker in the second video posted was neither Muslim nor a migrant, and was subsequently arrested over the incident.
The planned protests in Edinburgh have been backed by Stand up to Racism, Unite Against Fascism, Stop the War, Edinburgh RISE, Scotland Against Criminalising Communities.
“All those who stand against racism must oppose his entry into Britain and demand Theresa May does not grant him a state visit.” Stand Up to Racism co-convener Sabby Dhalu
Ahead of the protests, Sabby Dhalu, Stand Up To Racism co-convener said: “Trump’s latest tweets are a further chilling sign of his willingness to associate with a racist, Islamophobic and violent far-right intent on spreading hatred and division.
“When Islamophobia and racism is normalised, racist and Islamophobic attacks increase. We’ve already seen a shocking rise in hate crime – Trump’s tweets and potential visit can only make things worse.
“All those who stand against racism must oppose his entry into Britain and demand Theresa May does not grant him a state visit.”
“We need to stand up to the President of racism, Islamophobia and bigotry named Trump. He is not welcome here.” Stand Up to Trump spokesperson Maz Saleem
Maz Saleem, Stand Up To Trump spokesperson said: “Jayda Fransen is a convicted Islamophobe and racist, who is the spokesperson for Britain First.
“When far-right terrorist Thomas Mair murdered British MP Jo Cox, he shouted ‘Britain First’. For Trump, to retweet several Islamophobia racist tweets from her account speaks volumes about why we need to stand up to the President of racism, Islamophobia and bigotry named Trump. He is not welcome here.”
Following Trump’s apparent endorsement of Britain First’s posts and views, Prime Minister Theresa May said it was “the wrong thing to do” for the President to retweet the messages and videos of the organisation. Trump responded in a further Twitter post, telling May: “Don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine.”
READ MORE: Trump’s far-right former strategist Steve Bannon was invited to speak in Scotland by a senior businessman
Despite the ensuing diplomatic incident, Trump is reportedly due to visit the UK in February, according to the Sunday Times. The Daily Mirror has reported that, according to sources, it will not be a full state visit and Trump will not be meeting with the Queen.
Should Trump’s visit to the UK go ahead, further protests are planned. A spokesperson for the Stop Trump campaign told the Evening Standard: “The British government know that the protests against a Trump visit could be the biggest we’ve ever seen in the country. Upwards of a million people could take to the streets.”
The Edinburgh protest will assemble at Waterloo Place at 5.30pmfor speeches before delivering a letter to the United States consulate.
Picture courtesy of Thomas Cizauskas
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