Tens of thousands will take to the streets of London on 4 June to protest against the visit of US president Donald Trump. During his state visit he will also attend – at the invitation of doomed prime minister Theresa May – D-Day commemorations in Portsmouth, angering many.
The sacrifice of D-Day soldiers and others in the fight against fascism during World War Two led to the election of a reforming Labour government in 1945, by returning servicemen and women, determined not to see a return to the capitalist crisis and austerity of the 1930s.
Portsmouth Socialist Party
To see May and Trump show their respects is the height of hypocrisy after overseeing a decade of austerity that has thrown many veterans further into poverty, with cuts on pensions, benefits, housing and the NHS.
The great-great grandchildren of these veterans, also hit by austerity, are joining the fightback by leading climate strikes. They are helping to build the protests against Trump in Portsmouth alongside local trade unionists.
These world leaders, ‘masters of the universe’, are masters of hypocrisy. Their claims to defend democracy and act for the many as voices for peace and prosperity are shallow lies to hide the reality. Representatives of the super-rich, their policies are for imperialist plunder and profit, if necessary through war and sponsoring dictatorships.
For workers and their families in Portsmouth, including those working in the armed forces and defence industries, their policies of austerity have led to massive cuts in jobs, particularly at Portsmouth BAE dockyards, pay, pensions, benefits, education, the NHS and council services.
Growing poverty, food banks and homelessness is the outcome. For armed forces personnel returning from conflict, cuts to mental health services has left many of them suicidal and living on the streets.
Portsmouth trade unionists, students and socialists have come together to sign a joint letter of protest opposing the visit of Trump saying: “Trump’s system is one of war and militarism, exploitation and misery, racism and misogyny.
“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 the elites like Donald Trump – from climate change to capitalism itself.”
This letter has raised the call made by the Socialist Party for an immediate general election to bring down the Tory government which invited Trump: “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.”
Only on the basis of a socialist world can we hope to see an end to poverty, racism and war, where the world’s resources can be used in a rational way through democratic workers’ control and planning to meet the needs of all and the planet.