'Stop the US Trade Deal' protests take place around UK
‘Dump Trump’s Trade Deal’ banner dropped off Westminster Bridge
Pantomime cow and dancing chickens protest against low-quality US food imports in Parliament Squar
Hundreds take part around the country
Events have taken place around the UK today to protest against the government’s proposed trade deal with the United States. It comes ten days ahead of the US Presidential election and follows the fifth round of negotiations over the deal, which took place this week.
In London, a ‘Stop Trump, Stop the Trade Deal’ protest was held in Parliament Square, featuring Donald Trump trying to inject a pantomime cow with growth hormones, as well as dancing chickens demanding not to be chlorinated.
Events also took place in Ayrshire, Bexhill and Hastings, Bournemouth, Bradford, Cambridge, Cleveland, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Macclesfield, Manchester, Merseyside, Nottingham, Oswestry, Oxford, Portsmouth, Reading and York.
Hundreds of people around the country facing coronavirus restrictions have also taken part by sending in photos from home.
The nationwide day of action was organised by Global Justice Now, War on Want, Keep Our NHS Public, Traidcraft, We Own It, Open Rights Group, SumOfUs, Stop Trump and Another Europe is Possible. The day will conclude with a virtual online rally at 5.30pm.
The trade deal could lead to the NHS being opened up permanently to American healthcare companies; chlorinated chicken and hormone-fed beef; forced deregulation of the UK’s environmental laws, workers’ rights and rights to data privacy; and new rules that make it impossible to take effective action on the climate crisis.
The UK government is pressing ahead with trade talks with the US ahead of the presidential election on 3 November, and there is substantial concern that Donald Trump will rush to do a deal with his ally Boris Johnson. However, campaigners were keen to highlight the fact that regardless of who wins the election, a US trade deal is still on the table and will still pose grave dangers for rights, services, standards and the climate.
Nick Dearden, Director of Global Justice Now, said:
“Boris Johnson and the Trump administration are rushing to negotiate a trade deal, and unless we kick up a fuss, it will be a disaster for our rights, services, standards and the environment. They have already made it clear that everything is on the table, including opening up the NHS permanently to American healthcare companies. A trade deal with the US will almost certainly mean that we get chlorinated chicken and much lower food standards, and could well mean that we lose vital rights at work and environmental protections. There is no public support for these changes, but the government is hoping to do it anyway while no one is looking.
“Regardless of who wins the presidential election, the dangers are grave. We are talking about a race to the bottom - an unprecedented attempt to deregulate the UK in line with the American economic model. While we don’t want to protest at the current time, the Government is insisting on rushing this deal through with minimum scrutiny, and in spite of the fact that their focus should be on halting the spread of coronavirus. We have no choice but to resist this imminent danger.”
1. The protest and the nationwide day of action are organised by Global Justice Now, War on Want, Traidcraft, Keep Our NHS Public, We Own It, Open Rights Group, SumOfUs, Stop Trump and Another Europe is Possible
Photo: Kristian Buus