Socialist Worker

Six reasons to march against Trump

by Alistair Farrow
Issue No. 2656

 

Trump has launched vicious attacks on ordinary people

Trump has launched vicious attacks on ordinary people (Pic: Gage Skidmore)


Donald Trump has waged war on ordinary people since he stepped into the White House.

He has used his time in office to batter the most vulnerable people in society, such as migrants and Muslims.

That’s because he is a fighter for the ruling class.

Trump’s 2017 Tax and Jobs Act delivered the biggest corporate tax cut in US history—a staggering 21 percent.

Elements of the ruling class might hate Trump, but they tolerate him so long as he delivers for them.

Trump’s election sparked a feeding frenzy for the rich.

Republican donors pressured Trump at a fundraiser in New York and convinced him to lop a further 2.6 percent off the highest personal tax bracket.

At another fundraiser, Republican donors threatened to turn off the taps until Obamacare was repealed and tax cuts were rammed through. They got their wish.

Ordinary people are paying for the tax “reform”. The total package added £1.18 trillion to public debt in the US.

That is used to justify brutal cuts to essential services coupled with stagnating pay and attacks on conditions.

This is why battles over pay, such as those being waged by teachers across the US, are so important.

Resisting

The strikes push back against the idea that ordinary people have to suffer so the rich can grow richer.

And they point to a way of organising against the small group of people who control the economy—through mass collective action.

Protesting when Trump comes to Britain in June is essential.

It sends a message to his supporters across the world that they are in the minority.

And it shows people resisting in the US that they are not fighting alone.


Defend migrants, close the detention camps

The Trump administration’s attacks on migrants are among its most disgusting crimes.

Plans for rounding up some 10,000 migrants in a militarised sweep of ten major cities were leaked last month.

One detained child died on 14 May after catching pneumonia. He had been detained with his mother in April, in the freezing Texas night under a bridge between El Paso and Juarez.

Five children are known to have died in immigration custody since December. And Alan Dicker from the Detained Migrant Solidarity Committee said the figures are likely to be a gross underestimate.

Migrants are also being held in solitary confinement—a form of torture. Asylum seeker Marius explained how, once you are trapped in the US immigration detention system, you face savage treatment.

Marius’s entire family was killed in West Africa. He was kidnapped and transported to Brazil. Somehow he escaped, made it to the US border and found his way across.

“They charged me with entering the country illegally and held me in a federal prison for six months,” he said. “That meant that once I was free to go and have my asylum hearing, I would already have a mark against my name.”

Such legal wrangling is common. And there are a thousand indignities heaped on people in detention.

“They took my glasses,” said Marius. “They seized them because they didn’t want me to use them. All the workers at the detention centre were racist. We were treated like animals.

“Prison officers would slap people. Sometimes they would take you to an isolated cell so no one would know what was happening.”

Detention

Marius described people sleeping on the floor at the immigration detention centre in El Paso, Texas, on the US border with Mexico.

Alan told Socialist Worker, “We’re seeing a ‘return to Mexico’ policy being implemented. Instead of keeping people in the US for asylum processing, border agencies are throwing them back.

“I’ve seen women turned back who are seven months pregnant.”

Trump has ordered children to be separated from their families and caged

Trump has ordered children to be separated from their families and caged (Pic: Footage from US border patrol)


This is against even the US’s disgusting anti-migrant policies.

“In the border towns refugee camps are already overflowing,” added Alan. “That means the US is sending people back to sleep on the streets.”

Once there, already vulnerable people are exposed to traffickers or worse. Alan explained that criminal gangs know that people are more likely to try and enter the US if they have family there.

So some people sent back to Mexico have been kidnapped, then ransomed to their families in the US.

“The Trump administration is creating an industry where people are made the subject of extreme violence and cruelty,” said Alan. “Every anti-migrant measure has caused extreme hardship.

“We feel like we’re in constant emergency response mode.

“Trump’s administration is constantly changing major rules or implementing policies that undermine hard-won protections. But we’ve also got the Democrats repeating Republican arguments.”

Help Marius’ fight to stay in the US—go to bit.ly/helpMarius


Stop the nazis

Trump has given confidence to racists and Nazis.

After the Charlottesville riot by the far right and Nazis in 2017, Trump said there were good people “on both sides”. He doubled down on the statement when challenged this year.

At a rally early in May, Trump joked about a supporter at one of his rallies suggesting that migrants at the US border be shot.

This kind of behaviour gives confidence to the far right in the US and internationally.

It fuels the likes of Nigel Farage, who was photographed with Trump and spoke at his campaign rallies in 2016.

Trump also gives oxygen to fascists such as Tommy Robinson by legitimising some of his views from the highest office in the world.

But there is also more interest in socialist ideas in the US. Part of the fightback against Trump has been the remarkable growth of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). The group has grown from a handful to around 65,000 members.

They hope to act as a leftward pull on the Democratic Party. Yet the picture in local groups is a bit more uneven. DSA member Michael Scipioni said that local branches “all have different priorities”.


Back the resisters

Trump and his backers have attacked workers—but important groups have fought back.

Last year saw the highest number of major strikes in the US since 2007, according to Bureau of Labor figures. And the number of workers involved—533,000—was the highest since 1986.

Inspiring strikes by teachers over pay and other demands have been at the heart of the resistance. The movement has spread from West Virginia to California and across the country.

Some 600 teachers were out on strike in the New Haven Unified School District in California this month. It’s the fourth teachers’ strike this year in the state. Other states involved in strikes so far include Oklahoma, Arizona, North Carolina and Kentucky.

They struck a powerful blow against the idea that workers in states that had voted for Trump supported his programme uncritically.

“People are desperate in West Virginia,” said striker Emily Comer. “But the national media hasn’t been paying attention to the conditions that made the election of Donald Trump possible—the exact same conditions that made our strike possible.”


Back women’s rights

The Trump administration and its backers have sought to remove reproductive rights for millions of women across the US. The latest attack has been in Alabama, where a new law has effectively banned abortion.

Trump has previously said that women who have abortions should be “punished”.

Earlier in the year Trump’s administration changed the definition of domestic abuse to exclude any forms other than domestic violence. This should come as no surprise from a man against whom 19 women have alleged forms of sexual harassment, abuse and rape.

Thousands of people across the US joined coordinated protests earlier this month to defend abortion rights. The fight is on to push Trump’s attacks back.


Say no to more wars

Trump is a warmonger. His grandstanding with countries around the world is dangerous.

He has threatened to bring about “the official end of Iran”.

And he has ramped up sanctions that will hit ordinary Iranians the hardest.

Brutal sanctions have also been imposed on countries such as Venezuela, where oil exports have been clamped down on.

Trump has brought in some of the most violent figures in US politics to draw up his foreign policy.

His national security adviser, John Bolton, has long had Iran in his sights.

Latin America adviser Elliott Abrams has planned coups and played a role in the funnelling of US government money to death squads in Nicaragua.


Fight for the planet

Trump has packed his administration with people who don’t want to take action over climate change. He previously claimed that global warming is a hoax invented by the Chinese to attack US manufacturing.

Rex Tillerson, his secretary of state, is a former CEO of oil firm Exxon Mobil.

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency Andrew Wheeler is a former lobbyist for the coal industry.

He recently said that tackling climate change was a lesser priority for the agency than clean water. He called for a review of the science used to measure climate change.

Trump has had legal proceedings initiated against his administration over its environment policy every five days since he took office.


Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'


Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.