Theo Sharieff, Socialist Students national chair
Donald Trump – the viciously anti-working class, sexist, racist, bigoted president of the United States – has announced that he plans to once again visit Britain this summer between 3-5 June.
Hundreds of thousands of mainly young protesters mobilised in July 2018 when Trump last visited, and Socialist Students alongside the Young Socialists led walkouts of school and college students in protest of Trump and his pro-big business and bigoted agenda.
But Trump couldn’t have chosen a worse time to visit the UK. As if his overt contempt for working-class people wasn’t already enough to earn him the hatred of workers and young people across Britain, to top it off, he’s also an infamous out-and-out climate change denier!
In the summer of 2017, Trump made the decision to pull the US out of the 2016 Paris climate agreement. It was a decision which rightly provoked outrage and disgust among workers and young people.
But in whose interests was that decision made? In the interests of fossil-fuel giants like BP and ExonMobill, whose profits stand to suffer if fossil-fuel burning is successfully curbed. Trump decided to protect the greed of fossil-fuel industry capitalists at the expense of our planet.
Trump’s visit comes at a time when tens of thousands of young people, school and college students, have been mobilising in the streets to fight against climate change.
No doubt the thousands of students who have been mobilising in the youth climate strikes will be furious that the climate criminal-in-chief is being invited to visit Britain by the incompetent Tory government!
Socialist Students, since the start of the youth climate strike movement, has been calling and campaigning for the setting up of school student unions to help organise the movement and to defend the rights of students to protest.
But Trump’s visit only underlines the vital need for school and college students to have organisations through which they can build, spread and coordinate walkouts.
The climate movement will not be the only moment in history that students can use such organisations. Events at the recent National Union of Students (NUS) conference – which saw the right-wing leadership undemocratically push through a raft of ‘reforms’ which further diminish its ability to lead students in struggle – only add to the urgency of this task.
We say now is more important than ever to build student unions to help organise our walkouts and to strike back against Trump’s big-business agenda, and to fight for a socialist alternative to capitalism. We need to get organised in the struggle to end climate change, and fight for a future for working-class and young people, free from all forms of oppression, austerity, environmental destruction, and war.
- Visit socialiststudents.org.uk/resources for help with setting up a student union at your school or college