As a proud Londoner, when the details of Trump’s upcoming visit were announced, I knew I couldn’t allow him to visit without showing my hatred for his administration’s policies, actions and words. I recognise some may question the point of my actions, so I want to explain my reasons.
As a young woman, I have been horrified, though not surprised, by the accounts of sexual harassment many have faced from people in power. The growing openness about it and the recent arrest of Harvey Weinstein is heartening to see. However, Donald Trump, a man caught on tape bragging about assaulting a woman, continues to face no consequences, his power and wealth acting as a barrier to meaningful justice. To date 20 women have openly accused the US president of assault [Mindock, 2017]. I want to protest on Friday to make clear that acts of sexual violence are not acceptable regardless of who commits them.
With Justice Anthony Kennedy stepping down, Trump may have the chance to shape the US Supreme Court for decades ahead. In recent years, the Supreme Court has made epic decisions over same-sex marriage and abortion rights, to name a few. The idea of of one of the world’s leading countries to reverse any of these historic decisions, or to worsen the situation for others, is something that should be monitored by all. For as long as the US is a definer of norms, it is the job of us all to show our support these recent advances and encourage more.
Trump’s administration is reinforcing a traditional power system whereby the rich are protected while minorities are persecuted and silenced. Marching on Friday means vocally showing my disgust and outrage at this administration’s treatment of migrants, particularly children. I want to loudly express my support for transgender individuals, while the administration looks to limit their rights. Trump’s growing cosiness with Kim Jong-Un is a growing legitimisation of the North Korean leader’s human rights violations. Trumps’ tax plans have granted the richest breaks and punishing the poorest. The climate change denying beliefs Trump has spewed threatens all of us and our beautiful planet. The list of worrying views and actions goes on and I cannot begin to describe them all- his views on justice and punishment alone would require their own essay. So when I do march I do so for those directly harmed and silenced by these damaging policies, for those whose right to protest has been limited and to show that other countries will not lie down and accept it. This hatred will not be the new status quo.
Finally, I will protest because to not do so is to accept this president. Not everyone who wants to protest can, but I am able and so to not protest would be a decision to be apathetic. Trump’s administration, the UK government and the world needs to see we are not apathetic towards a sexual predator who disregards the rights of groups he doesn’t like. I will fight to halt the growing legitimisation of his misogynistic, racist, hate-filled views, who believes the truth is unimportant and can be invented. I am looking forward to joining others on Friday to demonstrate against Trump, Mike Pence and the administration.