Despite the rain and it being a weekday, roughly 100 people gathered at Leicester’s clock tower to protest the ridiculous state visit laid on for Donald Trump. There was a buoyant atmosphere and a diverse crowd — much like the previous Trump actions in Leicester, just a little smaller.
Leicester was an early starter on the anti-Trump circuit due to the rather odd invitation from the Director of the Richard III Centre to Trump, who predictably believes he is descended from the controversial monarch. Leicester against Trump, a coalition of Greens, regular folk, and supporters of Workers’ Liberty, built for a protest outside the Richard III visitor centre. Our first demo attracted 600 protesters in the city centre to mark Trump’s inauguration. On Tuesday 4 June, people gathered as local hero Grace Petrie’s music was played over the PA system.
A number of speakers, both individuals and representatives of local organisations such as CND, Indian Workers’ Association, and school climate strike, spoke with passion, giving confidence to people who had never spoken publicly before to pick up the mic. In the recent local elections, Labour in Leicester had bucked the national trend and increased its majority on the council. The protest was attended by some of the councillors, including newly elected Lindsay Broadwell, Leicester’s first openly gay councillor. Lindsay also represents a significant shift to the left within the council, and had a great class perspective on Trump’s threat to specific communities such as the trans community. The NHS was a priority for speakers, as well as Trump’s climate denial.
Young and old used chalk to send messages of solidarity and organisers encouraged people to talk with each other and to go back to their places of work and play and to organise against Trump and of course against capitalism. A clear message that socialism is the only solution for people and planet was delivered.