Thousands of people have demonstrated in London and other cities around the country at the decision to roll out a state visit to US President Donald Trump .
It happened as a Parliament debate took place on Monday (February 20) after a petition signed by more than 1.85 million people called for the visit to be stripped of the trappings of a state occasion in order to avoid causing “embarrassment” to the Queen.
MPs also considered an alternative petition, backed by almost 312,000 signatories , demanding the state visit goes ahead.
Among the speakers at the Parliament Square protest were Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and fellow Labour MP Diane Abbot, Green MP Caroline Lucas and activist Bianca Jagger.
Hayes and Harlington MP Mr McDonnell said: “The awarding of a state visit is usually reserved for a respected world leader. There is no way that Donald Trump deserves this award.”
He said a President who has ‘abused women, who has abused migrants, who has abused members of the Muslim faith’ does not deserve the awarding of this honour.
And to Prime Minister Theresa May he said "we will not stand by" as she opens up trade with the USA.
"We will not become a colony of the Trump regime", he added.
Gary Martinez, 46, on holiday from the Philippines, was at the protest. he said: “This is about showing solidarity with our fellow migrants.
“Migrants should not be bargaining chips for world leaders.
“Why is Donald Trump trying to sew fear and hate about migrants and immigrants and refugees?”
Emilia Staniaszek, 17, a student from west London, said: “I came here because I’m angry and I want to bold.
“I hate racism and bigotry, I think they’re gross.
“Donald Trump is smarmy and I can’t trust him.
“His travel ban scared me because there’s so much hope for migrants moving from place to place - that’s why they do it.
“But his ban kills hope, especially in a thriving place like America which is so diverse.
“It’s really important that everywhere is open.”
Lucy Howell, 20, a student from Leeds, said: “I came here to show solidarity, it’s about making as much noise as possible to the British government that young people don’t approve of Trump.
“The biggest reason I’m against Trump is his sheer hatred and fascism towards minority, migrant and vulnerable communities.”
Retired local government officer Malcolm Inkston, 58, of Lincoln, said: “I’m motivated by the despicable, megalomaniac policies of Trump, the racist misogynist.
“The travel ban is ridiculous and shows his attitude to human rights.”
Following the debate in Westminster Hall, MPs concluded that they had not adequately considered the petition to ban Donald Trump’s state visit.
Demonstrations were also held in Newcastle, Liverpool and Glasgow.
In its official response to the petitions, the Government stressed ministers believe “the President of the United States should be extended the full courtesy of a State Visit”.
“We look forward to welcoming President Trump once dates and arrangements are finalised,” the response said.
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