During Saturdays' Screen Actors Guild Awards, Mahershala Ali and the 'Stranger Things' cast joined the trope of Hollywood actors who have spoken out against Donald Trump's authoritarian leadership. Despite being stereotypically preoccupied with gold-plated awards, fashion shows and film premiers, dozens of influential public figures have recently exhibited their political zeal, triggered by the 'inhumane' and 'un-American' actions of the United States 45th President.
The history of Syria is not a peaceful one, even before the current civil war, Syria had been ruled by the iron fist of dictators, the people suffering from heavy sectarian violence. Though the land it occupies has been home to people for thousands of years, the country of Syria is less than a century old, and herein lies the key to its bloody history.
Stopping Trump will be difficult - he is, after all, the elected President of the United States - and it is largely the job of his opponents on the other side of the Atlantic. Making clear what we think of his policies, and their impact on people in the UK and all over the world, is more achievable. Most importantly, we should be more ambitious in defining that 'we'.
We are right to value democracy, and to demand free, fair, regular, competitive elections. But an election is not an end in itself. Elections do not guarantee freedom or good outcomes. Democracy is much more likely to function well, when the rights of all are guaranteed by independent courts, even if this offends the majority. And elected governments are much less likely to become tyrannical when the people keep tabs on them through a free press, and when people are willing to protest. In fact, and this is not an alternative fact, every healthy democracy needs trouble makers.
As well as protesting we also need to focus on putting good into the world. We need to build bridges between communities. We need to make minority groups feel they do belong in the countries they live in, despite what the hate press and divisive politicians say. This doesn't have to be on a grand scale, even eye contact and a smile can help eradicate the invisible barriers that the far right hate has erected.
So I'm going to protest tonight. Theresa May is probably going to pay no attention. This is the woman who wanted to make a list of foreign workers after all, so her refusal to condemn the 'Muslim ban' wasn't exactly a big surprise. But I wouldn't forgive myself if I didn't try. I protest so I can sleep at night, knowing I stood up and made my voice heard. Will you be able to do the same?
The term 'activist' should really be stripped of its obnoxious (and in many cases unfair) connotations and begin to be understood exactly as what it really means: acting resolutely in accordance with ones most dearly held principles. The crowds that have been marching in unity throughout the world show that this process is already under way and I urge every one of us to raise their banner alongside them in solidarity.
Now is the time to test how truly nasty we can be. In the aftermath of this glorious wave of protests, I want to use my voice, and my privilege, to carry that feeling I had when the sign was in my hand. To speak out for others who don't recognise themselves in an ever-shifting political landscape, where the elite continue to thrive, and the disadvantaged continue to be bulldozed in the name of progress.
In a perfect world, everyone's each and every need would be catered for but as we all know, this world is far from perfect. And so we aim to reach a consensus of what is best for most of us (including for "low information, non-city dwelling bigots"). And by doing this, we realise that representation can never be full in its entirety. And polarisation of opinion will always occur.