Portsmouth students and trade unionists oppose Trump's visit to the city for D-Day 75 celebrations

US President Donald Trump with his wife Melania view a special exhibition in the Picture Gallery of items from the Royal Collection of historical significance to the US, following a private lunch at Buckingham Palace in London. Tolga Akmen/PA Wire
US President Donald Trump with his wife Melania view a special exhibition in the Picture Gallery of items from the Royal Collection of historical significance to the US, following a private lunch at Buckingham Palace in London. Tolga Akmen/PA Wire
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STUDENTS and trade unionists across the city have opposed the visit of US President Donald Trump.

The 45th of the United States of America is due to attend D-Day 75 celebrations in Portsmouth tomorrow but a letter signed by the two groups has laid out arguments against the visit due to Trump’s policies and beliefs. 

An extract read: ‘Trump represents the interests of the 1 per cent. He stands for global trade wars which impoverish working people, for austerity at home and for war abroad. It is an affront that his visit, a political act of desperation from a Tory government in crisis, is timed to coincide with the D-Day commemorations.  

‘Many thousands of UK and allied sailors and soldiers embarked from Portsmouth to fight and die on the beaches of Normandy in June 1944. Many hundreds came from the slums and terraces of Portsmouth itself.

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‘They took with them not only a determination to drive back Nazi tyranny; but a resolve to ensure the peace which followed the War would be different from the crushing depression which had caused it. In the Labour government of 1945, the NHS and the welfare state they saw that determination realised.

‘Trump - with his belief in stripping the most vulnerable of America’s weak social protections, his opposition to universal health care and his belief that war is good for profits – stands in total contrast to this tradition.’

Sean Hoyle from RMT, Alan Denis and Geoff Lange from PCS and Chris Pickett and Jon Woods from Unison are among those who have signed the letter.

The groups have also demanded a general election.

Another extract read: ‘Not only is Trump unwelcome in our city, we demand an immediate general election to bring down the Tory government which invited him, so desperate is the political crisis they have unleashed in the UK.

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‘The election of Donald Trump in the USA and the political crisis here in the UK have their roots in the same cause. We believe the best way to oppose Donald Trump is to build a movement to oppose the very system he champions.

‘As trade unionists and as socialists we stand for a system based on solidarity and the belief that together, united as a class, working people can surmount the international problems caused by elites like Donald Trump – from climate change to capitalism itself.

‘An immediate general election, putting an anti-austerity Jeremy Corbyn led Labour government, committed to socialist policies in power is the only way to deliver for the many not the few.’