Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in towns and cities across Britain on Monday to protest as members of Parliament debate on whether U.S. President Donald Trump should be allowed to visit the United Kingdom.
Protesters gathered across the United Kingdom to pressure members of Parliament as the House of Commons debates two petitions today relating to Trump’s proposed visit that got over 100,000 signatures, which is the threshold qualifying it for a parliamentary debate, according to Business Insider.
A petition calling for Donald Trump’s trip to the United Kingdom received 1.85 million signatures. Another, demanding that Trump’s visit go ahead as planned, only received 311,000 signatures.
Protesters nationwide are taking part in a national day of action organized by the Stop Trump Coalition, intended to highlight the contribution of migrants to the United Kingdom. The Stop Trump Coalition also fights back against the widespread opposition to the “hatred, racism, and division” Trump has caused.
The main protest in the United Kingdom was in Parliament Square, London, with protest demonstrations also taking place in Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, and Cardiff.
The protests, which also occur on the United States federal holiday President’s Day, will focus on immigrants’ rights. The protests also coincide with a day of action organized by the One Day Without Us movement, designed to raise awareness of the contribution that immigrants make to Britain’s economy.
Carolina Lucas, who is a member of Parliament representing the Green Party for Brighton Pavillion, claimed that Trump’s planned state visit should “clearly be canceled” and the invitation to the United Kingdom be “binned.”
“On Monday evening I will be joining thousands of others in calling out Trump’s islamophobia and racism – and making clear that we expect our Government to stand up to bigotry, not meekly back away from confronting it.”
President Trump incited outrage throughout the entire world when he imposed a 90-day ban on citizens from seven major-Muslim countries from entering the United States.
The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, claimed on Sunday that he would be supporting the petition to ban Trump from visiting the United Kingdom, citing his “cruel and shameful” immigration policies.
“I think this ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries, ending the refugee programme is cruel and it’s shameful. In those circumstances, we shouldn’t be rolling out the red carpet.”
Donald Trump was accused of acting “like a petulant child” during the debate in British Parliament regarding Trump’s United Kingdom visit.
Members of Parliament are calling for the trip to be canceled and Trump to be banned because of his “well-documented misogyny and vulgarity,” according to CNN.
The debate kicked off in Westminster Hall with Labour Member of Parliament Paul Flynn speaking.
“We all in this room hold in great respect the US presidency, their constitution, their history,” and that there was “no question of any disrespect towards that country.”
Labour MP David Lammy said that it was expected that the new president of the United States would be invited to the United Kingdom, but for the country to make such an invitation to Donald Trump would be to “abandon all its principles.”
Speaker of the House John Bercow received calls for his resignation from some other members of Parliament after he said he was “strongly opposed” to letting Donald Trump address lawmakers during his United Kingdom visit because of Parliament’s “opposition to racism and sexism.”
John Bercow is one of the three parliamentary officials who have to approve an invitation for someone to speak in Westminister Hall.
The British government has already formally rejected the petition.
If Donald Trump’s trip was downgraded to just an “official visit,” the president of the United States would not be able to ride in the Queen’s carriage, be saluted with guns, or have a banquet at the Buckingham Palace, as well as other ceremonial honors that typically occur during Presidential state visits.
U.S. President Barack Obama visited the United Kingdom in 2011 after 28 months in office. No United States president has ever received a full state visit in his first year of office.