Source: The Guardian
It is not a time to be silent. We must all stand in active solidarity with Muslims, Jews, refugees, migrants, women, gay people, trans people and all those under attack.In just under a month, the streets of central London will be hosting a bold and diverse carnival of resistance to send a clear message to Donald Trump on his first official visit to the UK. But this has never been about one man, but about combating a politics of bigotry and hate that the far right is peddling all around the world, and which is increasingly being normalised to horrifying effect.
It is a politics of “walls and fences” through the demonisation of black and brown people. In the past six weeks, almost 2,000 children have been forcefully removed from their parents at the Mexico-US border and imprisoned in cages. US human rights and civil liberties groups are documenting story after story of crying children being snatched from their parents’ arms by US authorities. Their parents’ crimes? They stand accused of being “illegal” migrants. Some of these children are just four years old, some even younger.
This obscenity is the manifestation of Trump’s desire to – in the words of House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi – “make America white again”. This crime of separating children from their parents can only be understood as a deliberate attempt to mirror some of the darkest moments in US history, from the forced separation of indigenous Native American peoples, to slavery, and the internment of Japanese American citizens during the second world war. But it also has global echoes, from the barbarism of Nazi Germany to the forced removal of Indigenous Australian children by successive governments.
In the UK, the government’s own morally bankrupt “hostile environment” policies have similarly created a toxic narrative around immigrants, refugees and Muslims. This has not only resulted in the Windrush scandal, which has destroyed so many lives, but also the government slamming the door on its own obligations to give safe haven to child refugees.
Meanwhile the far right is emboldened and brazen, with neo-Nazi groups once again marching on the streets of London, and fascists in the US openly flying Nazi flags and chanting antisemitic and Islamophobic hate, confident in their belief that their views are shared in the White House. Across Europe, openly fascist parties hold government office. The Hungarian parliament has just enacted laws making it a criminal offence to help illegal immigrants claim aslyum; Italy’s far-right interior minister has said no boats carrying migrants will be allowed to dock in Italian ports. These racists are emboldened because they feel that the political discourse in the west supports their views and ideologies, as mainstream politicians pander to and endorse far-right policies.
This is not a time for complacency, or for us to be apologetic about the values we hold dear, or our commitment to human rights. And it is not a time to be silent. We must all stand in active solidarity with Muslims, Jews, refugees, migrants, women, gay people, trans people and all those under attack. Bigotry does not manifest itself in a vacuum, it flourishes when the majority are silent and in denial of what is going on.
This is why it is imperative that we use Trump’s visit to the UK on 13 July as an opportunity to demonstrate the strong resistance here to the heinous policies of his administration. Not only that; we must use it to build a loud, intersectional anti-racism and pro-migrant rights movement in the UK that will not shy away from naming fascists for what they are, and will not whitewash the politics of hate, racism and misogyny. If we leave things until they get even worse, it will be too late.
Together Against Trump: National Demonstration
Friday 13 July London | Assemble 2pm
BBC Portland Place | London W1A 1AA