There are children going on hunger strike in France, Europe, 2016. They want only to be reunited with their families. To have a home. Children who should be having childhoods are instead thinking about hunger strikes. And those are the ones who have lived, to make it that far. So many young bodies, full of potential, have washed ashore or sunk to the ocean floor. These children have been bombed; their friends and cousins have been left behind, already dead, and they are still needing to fight. Where is the greatness of Europe? Where is Noble England? Why are we not wading ashore to escort these children in, flying them in even, with our military that costs so much.

Donald Trump is the President Elect of the United States of America. He is appointing racist and sexist men as his closest advisors. If my beloved Grandparents, who taught me a love for my country that was like a mother, could see the hands it has been left in now, they would turn in their graves. This is not my America. This is 1930’s Germany. This is what I was taught to condemn. It has splintered; it has come apart. It is broken, like a toy that once held great promise but is now discarded. It will regrow, that I know, for there are too many good Americans and world citizens who hold true to the values on which our country was founded. The people will triumph through civil unrest. Something will rise out of the ashes, but first there will be a fire. There will be a conflagration. And it will be the children, again, who bear the brunt of it, and the children who we are depending on to heal it.

Why are we not doing better for ourselves? Our young? Why are we allowing all of this to happen? Look back on history, read, and imagine yourselves in situ. What would you expect yourself to do, if you were living in Europe 1940? You are aware of the change in the wind but what do you actually do? Do you help the persecuted? Do you get shot trying? Do you turn the other way? Do you snitch on your neighbour? Who are you? Who were you then? Who are you now? How far are you prepared to go, in any direction?

Let’s play the “If” game: “If” I were (most crucially) able bodied and preferably childless, I would wish to leave my safe, sheltered existence, and I would go to Syria and I would help get children out of there, I would do whatever it took to get as many children safe as I possibly could. However I am not at all able bodied, I am severely disabled, and I also have a child of my own who I cannot abandon. But I cannot do nothing. I cannot be the one who turned the other way. So largely, I write. And I encourage others to do what they can. I try at least.

In truth it doesn’t matter where in the world you are. Middle of nowhere Ohio, New York, Austria, England, New Zealand, China, Turkey. If you see what is happening and it disturbs you as much as it does me, go out into the street. Just stand there. Ask a passersby to join you. Make your corner of earth a fascist free zone. Sit down wherever you are and make the point that this is against our will. Do anything you can to show your displeasure and educate yourself on how you can be an ally to the persecuted. And stand ready. Stand ready to protest, galvanise, reorder and fight for what you believe in. Stand ready to fight to protect the persecuted.

In the next four years we will be sorely tested. You will see sides to people that you had hoped never to see, but you cannot look away. This is the time to fight, it is not in the future any longer, it is here, our worst nightmare has happened and the greatest country in the world, with the mightiest arsenal, has been commandeered by a fascist and his allies. Now is the time to say “This far and no further” and draw your line, stand your ground. Who are you? How will you be remembered? Do something. There are children out there who need us now, not tomorrow but right now. The world is in crisis. Give of yourself all that you can. We need help.