Silence is a form of acceptance. As the prime minister of the United Kingdom (Theresa the Appeaser) visited the USA to shake hands and smile in the face of the man who has discriminated against women, immigrants, people of different backgrounds, races, ethnicities, and Muslims; the people of this country voiced their disagreement.
Throughout the United Kingdom, the 30th January saw demonstrations and protests in many towns and cities. In London there were seams of people at Oxford Circus and Westminster, sporting many different signs including “Theresa May out, refugees in!”
There were several demonstrations throughout Scotland – Glasgow and Edinburgh being the most notable and most attended but people also turned out in other smaller towns including Dundee. In Edinburgh, outside the Scottish parliament there were chants of “say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here!”
There were also an abundance of signs displayed in Scotland, of a very Scottish (and inappropriate) nature which I won’t quote here but did amuse me.
Not only were these protests a declaration of disagreement and resistance against Trump and his policies – including the newly instated travel ban from certain Muslim countries – but it was equally a show of support for Muslims, refugees and immigrants. For this reason it warmed my heart even more and made me feel proud of this country. It gave me hope that in these times of hatred, ignorance and ostracism, there are still many people who are inclusive and accepting. Not only this but people that will stand up, voice their views and stand up for those who are being oppressed and ostracised! To me this is so important.
There have been many comparisons made between the methods and propaganda used by Trump and those which were implemented by the Nazis in their persecutions of Jews. I recently read a quote which not only struck fear in my heart but also made me realise the devastating consequences and possibilities which lay ahead.
I sometimes fear that people think that fascism arrives in fancy dress worn by grotesques and monsters as played out in endless re-runs of the nazis. Fascism arrives as your friend. It will restore your honour, make you feel proud, protect your house, give you a job, clean up the neighbourhood, remind you of how great you once were, clear out the venal and the corrupt, remove anything you feel is unlike you… It doesn’t walk in saying, our programme means militias, mass imprisonments, transportations, war and persecution.
– Michael Rosen
In the aftermath of Brexit and Trump becoming president – both of which incited and were fueled by hate – there has been many incidents of violence against immigrants, Muslims and minorities. Every time there is a new act of hate inspired violence it fills me with dread and despair for the future. However, after seeing many protests and demonstrations take place across the USA and the UK, it has filled me with a new hope. That humanity still exists; that there are decent people who value all lives; that not everyone is horrified by a woman wearing a hijab.
They say history is a wheel, repeating itself. We cannot let history repeat itself this time.