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by Bethany Rielly
in central London
ACTIVISTS today united in calls to elect an anti-war government led by Jeremy Corbyn and condemned Nato and US President Donald Trump as he visited London for a two-day summit.
A coalition of groups including Stop the War, CND, Stand Up to Racism, Keep Our NHS Public and Global Justice Now were among those that mobilised in the capital to oppose Nato and Mr Trump’s visit.
At the rally, Stop the War Coalition co-founder Lindsey German disputed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s inflammatory claims today that the Labour leader presents a security risk.
“They call him a security risk. But the real security risk is Nato, it’s the arms dealers, it’s Donald Trump,” she told the crowds.
“If you want a world of peace, a world of justice then vote for an anti-war government and hopefully on December 13 we will have Jeremy Corbyn in Downing Street!”
Protesters congregated in Trafalgar Square before marching to Buckingham Palace where Mr Trump dined with Nato leaders and the Queen.
Speakers took to the stage to defend the NHS, condemn the discriminatory policies of the Trump administration and call for the abolition of the “aggressive” Nato alliance.
And Mr Trump’s so-called deal of the century for Palestine and Israel was slammed by Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s director Ben Jamal.
“Now Trump in alliance with Israel is trying to sell the Palestinians his so-called deal of century — a deal that aims to bribe them with an offer of economic investment in return for giving up their inalienable collective rights,” he said.
Doctors and nurses led the march towards Buckingham Palace in symbolic resistance against plans to sell off the NHS in a future trade deal with the US.
As thousands marched in the streets, British politicians sparred on the campaign trail while Mr Trump contradicted himself on his designs for the NHS.
PM Boris Johnson told The Sun that he condemned the Labour leader as a security risk to the country.
Mr Corbyn has “always sided with our enemies,” and makes Britain’s allies “anxious,” the PM claimed in an interview with the toxic right-wing rag.
Labour hit back by accusing the Tories of keeping Britons “safe on the cheap.”
“Real security doesn't just come from strong laws and intelligence, it also comes from effective public services that have the funding they need,” a Labour spokesperson said.
Within hours of landing on British soil, Mr Trump claimed that he “had never even thought” about NHS privatisation, despite declaring earlier this year that “everything is on the table” in trade talks, including the health service.
Mr Trump said the US wouldn’t want the NHS “even if it was served on a silver platter.”
But Mr Corbyn, who sent a letter to the US president calling for assurances that the NHS will be taken off the table, was not convinced by Mr Trump’s rambling U-turn.
“I’m pleased that he said that. But then why have these talks gone on for two years?” he said in an interview with Jeremy Vine on BBC Radio 2. “Why have the documents only been released in redacted form?”
Proof of plans to sell off the NHS in a future trade deal with the US was lain out in documents leaked by Labour last week, Mr Corbyn said.
At the London rally, doctor and activist Sonia Adesara was also not reassured by the president’s backtracking.
“It’s complete rubbish,” she told the Morning Star. “Trump a couple months ago said the opposite — saying that the NHS was on the table. He said publicly that he wants the UK to pay more for drugs.
“When they say the NHS is off the table, we know this is another lie. If it is off the table then why wasn’t it taken off the table in the secret trade talks?”
She said it was “crucial” that these lies were exposed as the election approaches, warning that more years of Tory rule would be “disastrous to our country.”
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also admitted that the US would be able to ramp up drug prices after Brexit when pressed on BBC Radio 4 today.
Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth claimed this showed that “Boris Johnson is opening the door to a Trump trade deal that will force our NHS bills through the roof.”
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