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For hope, not fear

Unite rejects Trump rhetoric as he visits Scotland golf course
Hajera Blagg, Friday, June 24th, 2016

American presidential hopeful Donald Trump got a taste of his own medicine this morning (June 24), after protestors in Scotland sent a clear message that he was not welcome.



Unite joined a number of organisations in a Stand Up to Trump demonstration in Turnberry, where the billionaire arrived this morning for  the grand reopening of a golf course he purchased there two years ago.



More than a hundred protestors gathered at a car park near the Turnberry golf course, holding placards that read ‘No to Racism’ and ‘Refugees welcome here’.



Trump, known for his aggressive brand of xenophobia and racism, has been widely condemned in the UK by people across the political spectrum.



Remarks including a pledge to ban Muslims from coming to the US if he became president, as well as forcing Mexico to build a wall to keep immigrants out, caused outrage among the British public – a petition was signed by more than half a million people to ban Trump from the UK on hate speech grounds.



Clinton commiserates


Presidential contender Hilary Clinton responded to Trump’s visit by releasing a video in which she commiserated with Scotland’s people.



“People in Scotland are not thrilled about Trump coming to their country,” she noted, while the video showed clips of UK politicians as well as a man living next door to Trump’s golf course in Scotland all condemning the billionaire.



“We know the feeling,” Clinton said.



Stand Up to Racism, one of the organisations behind today’s protest, said that Trump’s message of hate must be challenged.



“We would not encourage anyone to support him in his presidency,” said Stand Up to Racism Scotland spokesperson Keir McKechnie.



“Although this protest happens to be taking place in Scotland, we want to represent people across the whole of the UK and beyond who reject Trump’s racism and Islamophobia.”



Campaigning group 38 Degrees joined the protest as well – the group flew a plane over the Turnberry golf resort with a banner that read “Love Trumps Hate”.



“We’re part of a movement building peace and respect in our country,” said 38 Degrees spokesperson Kathryn Stribley. “We’ll do all that we can to make sure he hears that during his visit to Scotland.”



Earlier this week, residents living near Trump’s other golf course in Aberdeenshire have erected Mexican flags which can be seen from the clubhouse, in solidarity with Mexican immigrants the billionaire has repeatedly maligned.



Unite stands firm


Unite Scotland secretary Pat Rafferty said the union stood firm against Trump and all that he stands for.



“Unite, along with the people of Scotland, roundly reject Trump’s xenophobic, racist rhetoric that’s stoking hatred in America,” he said. “Our support for the protest at the Turnberry golf resort today was support for all that Trump is not – we stand for solidarity not division; for hope and not fear.



“It is telling that not a single politician has planned to meet with Trump during his visit, which is his first international trip since he began running for US president. It shows that British people have turned their backs on him – above all they value decency and tolerance.



“Still, it is important to remain vigilant,” Rafferty warned.  “While we may laugh at Trump, while we may dismiss him as some strange anomaly, let’s not forget that his poisonous rhetoric can just as easily find its way on our shores and become an established part of our political discourse. We cannot let the forces of fear and hatred win the day.”





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