Richard Leonard: Donald Trump is not welcome here

Ahead of the demo in Edinburgh today, Scottish Labour Leader Richard Leonard lays out why we must oppose Donald Trump and his reactionary agenda.

Today in Edinburgh thousands of people will stand together in peaceful but passionate protest against Donald Trump’s visit to Scotland and the UK.

People from all parties and all faiths will join people who don’t belong to either a political party or faith, in demonstrating to the 45th President of the United States that he is not welcome here. The architect of the travel ban should certainly not have been allowed to use an airport owned on behalf of the Scottish people to host his arrival.

The reasons which have brought so many onto the streets to protest are not new as far as he is concerned, but they are very clear:

His misogyny. His racism. His bigotry. His denunciation of climate change, and his anti-trade union actions.

Donald Trump is not welcome here.   The horrific scenes at the Mexican border are just the latest example of his repudiation of decent human values.   Caging children like animals is barbaric and we simply cannot roll out the red carpet for a US President who treats people that way.

These demonstrations are not simply just about the politics of Donald Trump, it is about his moral values as well.

It is not about right versus left, it is about right versus wrong!

We will be demanding morality over ego, liberty over tyranny, civilisation over barbarism and truth over lies.

We are clear in our view that Donald Trump’s visit does not have the consent of the people, that we stand for freedom of speech and we stand for hope and common humanity.

Our voices of protest will not be silenced until we build a world of racial harmony, equality, tolerance and freedom for all.

Eighty-five years ago, Franklin D Roosevelt spoke of the “policy of the good neighbour” and “the neighbour who resolutely respects himself, and because he does, respects the right of others.

My hope is that this doctrine might once more permeate the White House.
The 45th President would do well to learn from the 32nd President, and reflect on the American constitution drafted by the first President – that of a nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all are created equal.

In the meantime, he is not welcome here and this weekend we will clearly, but peacefully demonstrate that.


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