The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) will protest the visit of Donald Trump to Ireland in early June, joining a cohort of political and activist groups in taking to the streets to march against the US President.
The US President’s visit – confirmed by the White House – is scheduled for June 5th. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Trump will meet at Shannon Airport, which has been the source of much controversy due to its links with the US military.
In an email statement to The University Times , USI President Síona Cahill said: “One of our core goals as representative body of students across Ireland is in the defence and promotion of all democratic and human rights, and we endeavour to show solidarity to those whose human rights are being violated – and in this regard, President Trump ticks quite a devastating number of boxes.”
“The students of Ireland will not stand for sexist, homophobic and racist leadership and rhetoric, nor do we stand for the facilitation or laudation of someone who denies the need for urgent action on climate change, or sets more value on making pals with fascists and dictators than the people who need support most in own country and outside of it”, she added.
Trump will reportedly spend two nights in Ireland, staying in his golf resort in Co Clare.
The protest will take place on Thursday, June 6th, with attendees gathering at The Spire at 6pm. It will be led by Stop Trump Ireland, a group set up in 2018 to protest the US president’s proposed visit that year.
Along with USI, the protest will be attended by ROSA – Socialist Feminist Movement, Dun Laoghaire Together for Choice and Equality, Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Trans Pride Dublin, United Against Racism, Irish Anti-War Movement and Extinction Rebellion Ireland.
The Facebook event page for the protest describes Trump as “a threat to us all”. The page cites a number of reasons for the protest, including his support for Israel, his proposed border wall with Mexico, his denial of the existence of climate change and his record of sexually assaulting women as motivations for the protest.
The visit is just one stop in Trump’s trip to Europe. He will also spend time in the UK and France to celebrate the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
USI has thrown its weight behind a number of social issues and protest movements in recent years. Last Saturday, the union marched down O’Connell St with a number of other groups to protest the housing crisis.
Yesterday, the union announced that it supported a yes vote in the divorce referendum taking place tomorrow. The union was also involved in marches supporting a yes vote in the marriage equality and eighth amendment referendums.