Protesting in the age of Trump
When I came to London in 2003 to study at LSE, most conversations I had with other students started with, “so your President is a war criminal?”
My original reaction was to get cross. But I didn’t defend Bush. I disagreed with the Iraq war.
In the run up to the 2004, election I joined Democrats abroad. I struggled to get behind some of the campaigning. But thing that caught my eye was a ‘Run against Bush’ protest where Dems would wear t-shirts with slogan and run around DC. I wanted to help lead a similar group in London.
At the last minute it was pulled because it was it was seen as unpatriotic for Americans to protest the US President abroad.
I struggled to understand that decision. I felt constrained in a way fellow Americans weren’t. Eventually I accepted that protesting Bush in the US was democracy. Protesting Bush to a foreign audience was to encourage anti-American sentiment.
I spent the next few years explaining to to concerned Europeans just how the US could elect Bush.
And so what am I to do today?
I have a 5-year old daughter who knows exactly what Trump is: a Bully who doesn’t respect women, people of colour or anybody different.
She also knows we have to stand up to bullies.
So what am I to do today?
My sister is fighting back in Tennessee, calling representatives. I have friends and family doing the same all over the US.
But in the US.
Somehow, 2017 feels different than 2004. I can’t sit idle, explaining Trump.
So maybe today, I can do this. For my daughter.