Donald Trump is in the United Kingdom. The Trump baby balloon has taken to the skies once more and thousands of us have take to the streets to protest the racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ant-Semitic, Islamophobic, orange fascist who currently dominates world news with his nonsensical Twitter feed, criminal activities and constant stream of bigoted, hurtful policies.
In March, I walked through London with a million other people to protest another massive blunder, the UK’s upcoming exit from the European Union. That protest was much larger but also much more upbeat. Yes, we were protesting, we were scared of our post-Brexit future and we were massively angry at the incompetence of our government, but there still managed to be something lighthearted about it all, a sense that we were doing something powerful and almost un-British by marching in droves and kicking up a fuss.
Today was different.
The Trump protest was angry. Of course it was. The most powerful man on the planet, the leader of the free world, is a fascist, plain and simple. He has locked children in cages, banned abortion in parts of the US and placed a travel ban on primarily Muslim countries. He has lied and committed crimes. He has done things that many historians and sociologists have made clear are not the start of a murderous regime, but several steps along the way. And we, a nation that, in theory, aims to be open, tolerant and accepting of the many wonderful and diverse forms humans take, have rolled out a red carpet and baked scones while Trump meets the queen and poses with our disgraced prime minister.
It is a fucking abomination that this orange-faced idiot is welcomed with respect and admiration while we let innocent people die at sea instead of trying to welcome them onto our shores. Trump is not only hurtful, frustrating and embarrassing, he is also dangerous to people of a myriad of different identities across the USA and the world. Trump poses a threat to women, people of colour, poor people, LGBTQ+ individuals, disabled people, immigrants, Jews, Muslims and more – with this risk multiplied for people who fall into a number of these categories, of which there are many. In fact, while marginalised groups are even more at risk under the Trump administration, the truth is that he poses a risk to almost everyone, through his denial of the climate crisis, attacks on healthcare and general disregard for other people’s quality of life.
I despise Donald Trump for so many reasons. I despite him because he bragged openly about sexually assaulting women; because he is trying to limit access to abortion; because he doesn’t believe in climate change; because he called other, poorer countries ‘shitholes’; because he lies, constantly; because he has banned trans people from serving in the military; because he put a travel ban on Muslim countries; because of his racist statements and refusal to engage with all the ways in which black people are discriminated against in the USA and the world; because of his censorship of science; because he put children in cages, some of whom have died; because of the way he stokes hatred and fear about immigrants; because he refuses to condemn gun violence; because he doesn’t brand white shooters as terrorists; because he mocked a disabled reporter; because he is totally, completely, unequivocally unqualified to be occupying the world’s highest political office; because he is a criminal but no one will impeach him; because he pulled out of the Paris Agreement; because he called London’s mayor a ‘stone cold loser’; because he endorses Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson; because he still wants to build that fucking wall; because he doesn’t believe that healthcare is a human right; because he released a video interspersing clips of Muslim Representative Ilhan Omar with footage of 9/11 to incite Islamaphobic violence against this young member of Congress; because he endorsed Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court; because he derails any legitimate criticism or questions with calls of fake news; because he has turned global politics into a farce; because his administration renewed the contracts for for-profit prisons; because in 2017 he boosted funding for the military at the expense of science, education and healthcare and because of all the other terrible, depraved, illegal, traumatic and otherwise despicable things he has done during his presidency (and before that).
He is a truly reprehensible human being and I, along with thousands of other people, are tired of having to explain why to those who apparently can’t see what’s right in front of their eyes.
We are tired of the fear and apathy that comes with these administrations. We are tired of making space and excuses for bigoted bullies whose sole aim is to control, subjugate and harm those around them. We are tired of people who refuse to grant personhood to the people they share their community with, but will fervently demand that a ball of cells be given greater autonomy than human women.
And we are fucked off that this man has been given a platform in the UK, as if he has any interest in diplomacy or trade or foreign policy instead of just wanting to mooch around causing offence and making a mess.
I felt that today. It was heartwarming to see such a diverse set of people protesting together, chanting and marching and demanding a better future for themselves and those around them. There were brawls with the police and fights broke out between protestors and the Trump supporters who’d come along to be inflammatory. There was anger and frustration, understandably, but there was also hope. There was the unspoken solidarity that at a time when so many are at odds, you can look at someone’s sign or hear their chant and know that you are among friends.
There were some beautifully creative signs at the protest today, along with riotous speeches and stirring chants. I loved seeing people with their kids, showing their children that this what you do when you want to make change. While Brexit drags on and Trump’s continued presence in the White House makes us painfully aware of the threat of nuclear war, it is always empowering to stand amongst a crowd of people and speak with one voice. Today, that voice shouted a resounding “fuck you, Trump!”