For anyone concerned with human rights, there’s really only one thing to talk about today – the inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United States.
His campaign rhetoric was openly racist, sexist, disablist and bigoted. His policies clearly breach the values laid out in the US Constitution and protected by human rights laws the world over. Be under no illusion – a Trump presidency poses an acute threat to the global human rights movement.
But this isn’t just about Donald Trump. Politicians on both sides of the Atlantic – using the politics of fear and division – are helping create a new normal where bigotry and extreme right-wing views and language are accepted as an everyday part of life.
The consequences of this are real and grave. Last year saw an alarming spike in hate crime following the referendum – groups I am associated with, such as Liberty & Amnesty, have been campaigning against increasingly discriminatory and divisive policy from successive UK governments for years.
Bridges Not Walls
That’s why Liberty was proud to be on Tower Bridge on the morning of the 20th January to take part in #BridgesNotWalls – an amazing display of support and solidarity for groups under attack here in the UK, across Europe and in the US.
Tomorrow Liberty will be at the Women’s March on London. On the first day of Donald Trump’s presidency, women-led marches, welcoming all participants, will take place across the world. We’ll be marching for the protection of our fundamental rights and for the safeguarding of freedoms threatened by recent political events.
The politics of fear and division have no place in 2017
Our sister organisation the American Civil Liberties Union has wasted no time in its efforts to block Trump’s assault on liberty in the US. Liberty stands in solidarity with them, as we have so often before – because Trumpism and Mayism may be closer than we think.