Socialist Worker

Mass demos mark the end of Trump’s first year as the bigot in chief

by Alistair Farrow
Issue No. 2588

Lots of homemade placards in Baltimore

Lots of homemade placards in Baltimore (Pic: Elvert Barnes/Flickr)


Hundreds of thousands of people came onto the streets across the US to mark one year since racist, sexist US president Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Over 200 protests took place across the US last weekend to make clear the fight against him and what he represents has not gone away.

Some estimates put the number marching in Los Angeles at 600,000. Some 300,000 marched in Chicago, and over 100,000 came out in New York. In many places organisers reported more people attending than last year, although numbers appeared to be down overall.

Protests took place across the world in solidarity as well. Thousands came out in London, Rome, Buenos Aires and Sydney.

Donald Trump’s first twelve months in office - a year of horrors and resistance
Donald Trump’s first twelve months in office - a year of horrors and resistance
  Read More

Fuelled

The first Women’s March a year ago was fuelled by anger at Trump boasting about sexually assaulting women in a recording that was made public.

Seemingly oblivious, this year he tweeted, “Beautiful weather all over our great country, a perfect day for all Women to March.

“Get out there now to celebrate the historic milestones and unprecedented economic success and wealth creation that has taken place over the last 12 months.

“Lowest female unemployment in 18 years!”

People are furious that Trump has survived a year of crisis.

He spoke to the anti-abortion March for Life last Friday, doubling down on his misogyny and sending a clear message to his reactionary political base.

“I’m fed up with this entire administration, and I think it’s important for us to press on for changes,” said Suelita Maki on Saturday’s New York march.

What happens to this anger is crucial. The Democratic Party want it to benefit them at elections.

“We march. We run. We vote. We win,” said Nancy Pelosi, leader of the Democrats in the House of Representatives.

The Democrats are targeting states such as Nevada in the midterm elections in November. These are for the whole of the House of Representatives and about a third of the Senate.

Hope

A Women’s March statement claimed they hope to register one million voters through the campaign.

The Democrats’ unprincipled fight over rights for undocumented migrants (see below) is linked to this drive.

But not everyone attending the protests sees elections as the answer.

People attended the protest for many reasons.

And doubtless even more would have attended if there had been a more inspirational message than just voting for change.


The fight against racism is at the heart of the resistance to Trump

Anti-racism was at the centre of this year’s Women’s March message. Last year the march was criticised for being too white.

Demanding an end to Trumps immigration policies in Minnesota

Demanding an end to Trump's immigration policies in Minnesota (Pic: Fibonacci Blue/Flickr)

The need for an anti-racist movement against Trump was underlined by a shutdown of federal services at the start of this week.

Democrats in the Senate refused to back a short-term budget if Republicans wouldn’t guarantee rights for undocumented migrants who came to the US as children, known as Dreamers.

They quickly backed down after the shutdown went into its third day. They accepted Republican promises of a debate on Dreamers in the future.

Deportations

Trump undermined this by saying an immigration deal would only be made if “it is good for our country.”

The Harvest Movement organises against deportations. “Every day, workers and members of our community with Daca are being used as bargaining chips in this political game,” it said in a statement.

Resistance on the streets is making gains. The California district attorney issued notices to employers on Thursday of last week, saying they would be fined £7,000 if they cooperated with immigration raids.

Rhetorical attacks at the top of society result in brutal repression at the bottom.

A new report has found that supplies of water left at the US-Mexican border to stop people dying have been systematically sabotaged.

The report by No More Deaths and La Coalicion de Derechos Humanos alleged the US Border Force was behind the sabotage.

It found that, between 2012 and 2015, water points were vandalised 415 times and 3,586 gallons were wasted.

Attacked

Trump has consistently attacked ethnic minorities, and both he and his family have close ties with racist organisations.

For instance, Trump has endorsed right wing student organisation Turning Point USA in tweets. Donald Trump junior was a keynote speaker at one of its conferences.

The organisation has a long history of racism. In a private text conversation national field organiser Crystal Clanton said, “I HATE BLACK PEOPLE, like fuck them all… I hate blacks.”


Wall comes tumbling down

Stand Up To Racism protesters staged a protest outside the new US embassy in south London on Saturday.

“We say to Trump, ‘We don’t want your racism, we don’t want your sexism, we dom’t want your anti-gay policies here,’” said Paula Peters from Disabled People Against The Cuts.

Naima Omar from Stand Up To Racism said, “We have to make sure the Stand Up To Racism demos on 17 March are large.

Trump doesn’t want to come here because he’s scared of the people who are going to turn out. We will stand in unity as we did against the Muslim Ban and on the Women’s March at the beginning of last year.”

Protesters knocked down a symbolic wall as part of the protest.


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