Several thousand people gathered outside the United States Embassy in London, England, Saturday morning. However, the London protesters were not interested in British politics, per se. Instead, their issue was with U.S. President Trump–and his refugee ban. The protesters are also angered by Prime Minister Theresa May’s refusal to withdraw the invitation for Trump to visit the U.K.
As the demonstrators filled the streets, they carried emphatic signs putting down the President and his entire approach to government. They repeatedly stated that their concern is about the British reception of Trump. One repeated motto ran throughout the march and could be seen on numerous signs.
The protest is not just about the refugee ban. Donald Trump has planned a visit to London, and the locals are not very happy about it. The march follows on the heels of last week’s press meeting in Washington, D.C, between United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May and President Trump. Their meeting was not only cordial but warm and friendly, as Daily Mail reported. Trump even went so far as to say that he believed that the U.K. and the U.S. were going to do great things together–and that he and May are going to have a “fantastic relationship.”
The two definitely seemed to hit it off during their walks along the colonnades at the White House and agreed on their mutual passion to fight terrorism.
But now, President Trump’s fight against terrorism has led to the highly controversial refugee ban–or travel ban, as some call it. According to Reuters, many British subjects find the ban discriminatory; they are angered not only that Trump is set to come to London, but that Theresa May’s government took so long to criticize it.
However, although it took a while, May commented on the president’s action. In a parliamentary meeting, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn violently attacked President Trump’s actions.
“President Trump has torn up international agreements of refugees, […] he’s incited hatred against Muslims. […] Just what more does the President have to do before the Prime Minister will listen to the 1.8 million people who’ve already called for a state visit invitation to be withdrawn?”
Instead of siding with Corbyn, Prime Minister Theresa May noted what she had achieved in her relationship with Trump and criticized the tendency of fellow Brits to protest and spout angry comments. She specifically addressed Jeremy Corbyn and theorized how his sentiments would have affected Britain within the last seven days alone.
“The right honorable gentleman’s foreign policy is to object to and insult the democratically elected Head of State of our most important ally. Let’s just see what he would have achieved in the last week. Would he have been able to protect British citizens from the impact of the executive order? No. Would he have been able to lay the foundations of a trade deal? No. Would he have got a 100 percent commitment to NATO? No! […] He can lead a protest, I’m leading a country.”
The protesters took to the streets of London Saturday morning because of these most recent developments and because of the great issue that is this refugee ban. It has been widely recognized as one of the biggest issues originating from the Trump Administration. While perhaps those that side with Prime Minister Theresa May’s reserved approach stayed home, many thought that their voice would better be heard from the streets of London.
[Featured Image by Matt Dunham/AP Images]