Chesterfield Together Against Trump members hit out at US president ahead of his UK visit

Campaigners are set to gather in Chesterfield town centre this weekend in protest at Donald Trump's controversial visit to the UK.

Monday, 9th July 2018, 4:58 pm
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 4:56 pm
US president Donald Trump.

The Chesterfield Together Against Trump (CTAT) group has organised Saturday's demonstration to show opposition to the American president.

According to CTAT, Mr Trump - who will be in Britain from Thursday until Sunday - 'has made the world a far more dangerous and oppressive place since his inauguration' and 'he is not welcome here'.

However, not everyone in Chesterfield is against Mr Trump - and prime minister Theresa May previously said she 'looks forward' to welcoming the 45th American president.

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Lucretia Packham, of CTAT, outlined why the group was set up.

She said: "Even before his inauguration, Trump voiced clear Islamophobic and anti-immigrant rhetoric.

"He has subsequently hardened this stance and has supported the development of the far-right internationally, including Britain.

"Trump's attitude to women is openly abusive, with personal claims of abuse made against women.

"He has supported the rich at the expense of the poor in terms of taxation policy and has increased the tensions in the Middle East and brought the world closer to nuclear war than at any time since the end of the Second World War."

She added: "With so much evidence available against Trump, it is unlikely that we would waste time arguing with Trump supporters.

"Together Against Trump assists all those against reaction and the far-right to come together to oppose this and work together for more progressive policies nationally and internationally."

Other CTAT members also had their say.

David Kesteven, an anti-fracking campaigner, said: "The worst thing that Trump has done is to pull out the Paris Climate Agreement - that was the best chance we had of avoiding catastrophic climate change.

"Trump thinks climate change is a hoax and a 'concept dreamed up by the Chinese to make US manufacturing non-competitive'.

"Trump loves deregulation and has already cancelled clean air and water policies and is threatening to scrap the Environmental Protection Agency."

Joan Pons Laplana, a nurse and NHS campaigner, said: "The NHS is 70 and if we want it to continue for another 70 years we need say no to privatisation and Trump's idea that big American health companies should be able to make profits out of health service provision in the UK."

Jeannie Robinson, of the Stand Up To Racism group, said: "One of his first actions as president was to put a ban on travel to America from seven Muslim countries.

"He has called all Mexicans 'rapists' and all migrants 'pigs'.

"His policy to separate migrant children from their parents has rightly provoked an uproar.

"Through his support for neo-Nazi organisations in America he gives oxygen to far-right organisations here."

James Eaden, of Chesterfield Trades Union Council, said: "Trump's tax cuts in the US have supported the rich at the expense of the poor.

"His trade wars will increase the cost of living for us all.

"He claims to be the friend of the working man but his policies simply make the rich richer and squeeze those at the bottom of society."

Lesley Mathews, of the ProPeace Chesterfield group, said: "Trump is only too happy to be in charge of the biggest nuclear arsenal in the world.

"He seems to have no idea about the consequences of his threatening attitude to many states.

"He is truly frightening and is leading us all closer towards nuclear catastrophe."

Seventy-two-year-old Mr Trump - who was a businessman and TV personality before entering politics - is expected to spend time in London, Windsor and Scotland during his visit as protests take place across the country.

The Chesterfield demonstration - which will include speeches, songs and a march - will be held in New Square between 11am and 12.30pm on Saturday.

In Parliament, prime minister Mrs May said it was important Mr Trump's visit went ahead as the UK and US had 'key shared interests'.

She described the US as 'our most important ally' and said the visit would allow her to sit down with Mr Trump and discuss issues.

Commenting on our Facebook page, Rosemary Birnie said: "He's the president of the US, of course he should come."

Brian Key said: "No matter what you think of the person, you must respect he is president of perhaps the most powerful country in the world."

Stephen Shepherd said: "Why do people hate a politician who does what he says he will do. I'd make him prime minister tomorrow."

Andrew Oldale added: "I think you will find most people in Derbyshire are happy for him to visit."

Republicans Overseas - a political organisation for Americans who live outside of the US - will hold a rally in London on Friday to welcome Mr Trump to the UK.

In a statement on its website, Republicans Overseas said: "With ever-increasing security threats and global challenges, the alliance and friendship of our two nations - the US and UK - is now more important than ever.

"We are proud and delighted that president Trump will be meeting with the Queen and the prime minister to advance the political and cultural relations between our great countries."

Mr Trump was sworn in as president in January last year.

According to the White House, his administration scored 81 major achievements and more than 100 other minor achievements in its first year, making good on campaign promises to provide significant tax cuts, boost US energy production and restore respect to the country.

Supporters of Mr Trump also point to his historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un last month.

After the summit the leaders signed a 'comprehensive' document, promising a new relationship between the nations.