Wigan protestors took to the streets to mark Donald Trump’s inauguration as US president with a protest denouncing racism.
The borough’s branch of national organisation Stand Up To Racism descended on Market Place to hand out leaflets, wave placards and speak about fighting xenophobia and building tolerant communities.
The protest was organised after the campaigners became increasingly alarmed by some of the comments President Trump made on the campaign trail as the Republican candidate.
Stand Up To Racism said it was determined, given the colossal amount of power and influence the US leader wields, to make a public stand to defend its values as he was sworn into office.
Protestors say they are also increasingly concerned about a perceived climate of hostility towards foreigners on this side of the Atlantic and wish to ensure racism does not spread in either Washington DC or Wigan.
Branch member Dave Lowe said: “We feel in Stand Up To Racism that it’s on the increase in Britain and that the election in the US of someone who made quite seriously racist comments, particularly about Mexicans, sets the tone for the rest of the world.
We feel in Stand Up To Racism that it’s on the increase in Britain and that the election in the US of someone who made quite seriously racist comments, particularly about Mexicans, sets the tone for the rest of the worldDave Lowe
“Having him as the world’s most powerful man encourages people who might have similar ideas here.
“We want to draw the link between standing up to Trump and standing up to racism in Britain. It’s an intervention, like those of the many Americans who are not happy about him and his xenophobia and misogyny.
“We want to set a marker in the sand here in Wigan that there is opposition to this.”
A number of demonstrations took place yesterday against the new president in Britain, with those opposed to Mr Trump gathering outside the American embassy in London and Manchester Town Hall at the time the inauguration ceremony took place.
Banners were also displayed with the slogan Bridges Not Walls, a reference to one of Mr Trump’s most infamous campaign promises.
Protests have taken place in Washington DC, with thousands expected to attend a huge women’s march today.
The local branch of Stand Up To Racism, which is supported in the borough by Wigan Trades Council, is also planning to take part in a Trades Union Congress event on February 4 and a national demonstration on March 18 to show solidarity with refugees and migrants.
The group is also planning a showing of Selma, Ava DuVernay’s recent film about Martin Luther King Jr and the walk across Alabama to the state capital Montgomery to demand civil rights, at the Beech Hill Book Cycle. A date for this is yet to be confirmed.