Freedom Rider: How to protest Trump

If the British really oppose Trump’s policies they should dump their own government, which backs Washington to the hilt—and then they should apologize to the world for Britain’s crimes.

Once again, Donald Trump’s presence in the United Kingdom sparks protest, sneers, and theatrical outrage. There are countless reasons to take offense at Trump’s presence anywhere in the world. He has inspired and encouraged violent racists in the United States, given Israel more leeway to persecute the Palestinians than any other president, and his foreign policy team brag about starving Venezuelans and Iranians in the service of attempting futile regime change plots.

Of course, Trump can’t stop being Trump and he insults the American member of the royal family by calling her “nasty” and then denied the statement that was caught on tape. His bigotry, ignorance and vulgarity make him an easy target.

But the Trump baby balloon and images juxtaposing Trump and Obama approval ratings should not be the focus of protesters. They have weightier issues to address. Instead they show the hollowness of their politics and put their lack of seriousness on display for the whole world to see.

The British government is nothing but a United States vassal. When George W. Bush chose to invade Iraq, U.K. prime minister Tony Blair sent troops to assist in the aggression. When Syria was bombed in 2018 the two countries worked together to carry out the attack. The U.K. does only what the U.S. tells it to do. That is what the British ought to be angry about.

Both nations are among the most criminal that ever existed and if protesters want to show their bona fides they should not shrink from pointing out this easily provable fact. When London Mayor Sadiq Khan expressed opposition to Trump’s visit he proclaimed that it was “un-British to roll out the red carpet.”

Apparently Khan is unfamiliar with British history. His grandparents were forced to leave their home after the disastrous British partition of the Indian sub-continent. Britain’s colonization of that region resulted in war and famines that killed millions. The sun never set on the empire that wrought lasting damage to millions of people. From the slave trade to colonization, Britain has committed thousands of atrocities over many years. Celebrating criminality is in fact quite British.

If Khan and others want to pretend that Britain is somehow superior to Mr. Trump, they have more worthwhile ways of showing it. Britain has joined the U.S. in sanctioning the elected government of Venezuela. They have recognized an illegitimate head of state and they have even stolen Venezuela’s money. Some $1.2 billion worth of Venezuelan gold sits in the vaults of the Bank of England and Britain refuses to return it. Sanctions and the craven acquiescence of the U.K. and other countries have killed 40,000 Venezuelans in the last two years by depriving them of food and medical care.

Julian Assange sits in a London prison cell after experiencing what a UN Rapporteur described as torture. But the foreign minister publicly attacks the rapporteur and states that he will hand Assange over to a country that is seeking to criminalize journalists anywhere in the world. If the British want to go out into the streets, they might consider doing so on Assange’s behalf.

The two nations are partners in crime. Both stay on the path of austerity and endless war. Anyone who challenges the system on either side of the Atlantic Ocean is beaten down and slandered. The intelligence agencies of both countries are implicated in spying on Trump and other presidential candidates. Instead of protesting Trump, the British need to protest their own MI6 in the fake Russiagate scandal and its role in subverting the 2016 elections. The British media, like their American counterparts, are either government assets or cynical institutions who go along to get along. Because of their collusion with the deep state both the British and American people are lied to and rendered powerless by deliberate misinformation.

Perhaps British protesters can demand to know the whereabouts of Sergei and Yulia Skripal. The former double agent and his daughter were allegedly poisoned by the Russian government but they are now kept hidden by the British. If the British want to protest, they could ask why they haven’t been seen in public. But those questions are hard and go to the heart of the crisis in the U.S./European axis of evil. Floating giant Trump baby balloons is much easier than making an effort to challenge the system which gives him legitimacy.

If Trump had better social skills he would be like his predecessors, a respected killer. But because he is a boorish, mean spirited, racist man, he is targeted for doing nothing worse than any other world leader. It is a sorry state of affairs when trivialities are elevated to such a degree. If the British are concerned about fascism they would demand that their government cease doing whatever Americans tell them to do. As Julian Assange shouted when he was dragged out of the Ecuadorean embassy, “The U.K. must resist.” But it doesn’t. It picks the low hanging fruit for derision while happily continuing centuries of bad behavior.

Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well at  Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)

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