An Open Letter To The White House

Dear President Trump,

The newly legistalted travel ban and the far-reaching changes to the US refugee admission programme will have a drastic impact on some of the most vulnerable refugees in the world. Refugees due to be resettled in the US have been selected because of the gravity of the suffering they have endured while fleeing conflict and persecution. They must go through a lengthy vetting process before entering the US. With the signing of this latest Executive Order, their hopes of finally reaching safety in the US will be dashed, adding yet more needless suffering to their lives.

Attempting to justify blatant discrimination in the interests of national security is disingenuous. Playing with the lives of refugees due for resettlement is unconscionable.

People fleeing conflict and insecurity in countries like Syria, Yemen and Somalia are not a security threat; they are refugees in need of protection. Banning people from these countries will not make America safer.

Historically, the United States has been a global leader on refugee resettlement, offering protection to those most in need. I call on you to maintain this vital commitment to refugees, and urge you to immediately revoke the Executive Order, which is in violation of the principle of non-discrimination, codified in articles 2 and 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and article 1 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and which undermines the US government’s obligations in relation to the 1951 Refugee Convention.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew


If you, reader, want to copy and paste the above in to your own email – feel free. The address that you will need to sent it to Trump is [email protected].

May In Washington

I am writing about May in Washington. Not the month. It is about the rise of Fascism in the USA that I want to dip my toe in to tonight – not a subject for the faint of heart, but this is my blog; the opinion of a thirty-something living in the north of England. Do I have a right to comment on the situation in the States? Yes. I believe I do due to my country’s ‘Special Relationship’ with the States. We have a special diplomatic relationship with the USA. The avenue I want to explore about the rise of bigotry in the USA is our Prime Minister’s visit Stateside.

fascism

ˈfaʃɪz(ə)m
noun
noun: fascism
  1. an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.
    antonyms: democracy, liberalism
    • (in general use) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practices.
      “this is yet another example of health fascism in action”

     

Our  Prime Minister, May, was recently over there offering 2017’s version of Nazi appeasement to a man that is not qualified to lead the free world. Trump is making the USA the most hated country in the world again due to his misogyny, vulgarity, rudeness, xenophobia, racism, bull-headedness, patronising attitude, small hands and orange face. But that cheapens the debate – I am not here to lower myself to Trump’s level and start throwing around bad names: I am here to call on my Prime Minister (the lady who should represent me) to actually represent the will of the British people.

Not once was the issue of the passing of legislation that made Muslim residents in to second class citizens brought up when she was over there. Not once was the wall brought up whilst she was over there. Not once was the issue of the repeal of funding for abortions raised. (I will bite my tongue about her visit to Turkey.)

may-in-washintonThere were millions of women marching from all over the world in protest at Trumps inauguration. The Chief Cheeto treats women as bad as he treats my Muslim friends – so, “hell hath no fury like a women scorned …” they knitted hats and they marched in every corner of the world, protesting that a man like Trump could get in to office. There was even a march in Antarctica. Then there was this picture (see right).

But more recently, Green card and visa holders were being blocked from boarding US-bound flights within hours of Donald Trump issuing an executive order limiting immigration from several Muslim countries, according to reports.

US airports were also said to have ordered some passengers who had managed to board flights to return to their point of origin, according to the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC).

ADC’s policy director Abed Ayoub warned visas were being denied with immediate effect and the ban would also apply to green card holders attempting to return to the US overnight. Why did May not have a word with him?

Whilst she was over there, Trump was extended the invite of a State visit to this green and pleasant land. It is time to take the fight to him directly and make our feelings known to him as soon as he sets foot on British soil and until he scampers back to Washington. Yes, the bile is biting the back of my throat and I realise I may have notched up a few trigger words in the US Security sweep of the web, but, I really am concerned by the rhetoric from Capitol Hill at the moment. I fear that 2016 (with the election of Trump & Brexit) will become one of those “I wonder what I would have done in that time” questions in a time far away. My answer would be that I protested within my means.

But, is protesting within your means enough? The trending FB topic is #PunchANazi. I think I would.

  1.  I thought George W. Bush was bad.
  2. Why is our Government not doing anything to counter Trump?

May in Washington, in 2017, was very, very gloomy.

Friday 20th January 2017

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.

Women’s March

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.

Paris Deal

In 67 days, President Trump could go to war with climate action. But governments are at their annual climate summit right now. If we act fast, we could get them to lock in progress before he can destroy everything we worked for. Please sign the petition here.

Germany, China, India, Brazil, the climate vulnerable countries, and others are reasserting their commitment to the Paris climate deal. But if enough of us call for it we could get them to urgently lock in the way to zero climate pollution, demand the US keeps its Paris promise, and commit to advance faster towards climate solutions that Trump won’t be able to stop.

Let’s ask them to make an unequivocal statement for climate action, regardless of what Trump does. Trump has called climate change a hoax, dismissed the Paris agreement, and just gave a climate denier with ties to Big Oil the job of determining his environmental policy in the next few months!

But over 100 countries have signed up and Paris is already in force. Now the world’s most vulnerable countries are leading the charge for urgent climate action. Yesterday, Germany announced a bold new plan to radically cut carbon and, crucially, China is shutting down coal and breaking records on renewable energy. India too.

Trump could pull the US out of the UN climate convention when he comes to power – and as the world’s largest per capita emitter, that will have huge impact not only on the people of the US, but on all of us. But such a withdrawal is a bureaucratic nightmare that could take years. If enough of us join together now with a roar of NO! we can find ways to stop it, and ensure the rest of the world speeds up if the US slows down.

We simply can’t let this ignorant billionaire destroy the only path to save our planet. Let’s go all out now to keep the world on track when Trump takes office.

Sign now to get our leaders to recommit to our planet and forward this on!

Together, we helped make the landmark Paris climate agreement possible. We marched, donated, signed, and called. In the end, we helped push good leaders to be champions and made it difficult for anyone trying to block progress. Paris was always a starting point. We still have a long way to go to save everything we love from climate change. But if we lose it now, this shot at global cooperation is gone. This week we must act.

9/11

The day that Trump got elected was 9/11 (for the rest of the world). I am the first to admit I am no astute political commentator – but a man that builds his campaign on race-baiting and misogyny is not the ideal candidate to be in-charge of an army. I am not American – I am a British subject and this is my point of view. As someone with living family who have memory of fighting Fascism in Europe, it seems bigotry and xenophobia have been elected stateside.

It is almost inevitable that Marine Le Pen is elected in France followed by the inevitable rise of The Right in Italy. The rise of hate in the Western hemisphere is somewhat alarming. But what is it a rise against? Other than campaigns being led on race-baiting, I struggle to see any solid argument for electing hot-heads to power. Okay, Brexit was a vote against “those” that seek refuge in our green and pleasant land – but surely “they” are people with just as much right to a safe place to live as we are?

However, I am wavering – this rant is about 9/11 (for the rest of the world).

So how did it happen?

It really was a case of Hillary losing the election – not of the divisive Trump winning an election. So, why? “It’s the economy, stupid” was a phrase coined by her husband’s adviser James Carville in the 1992 election and, in many ways, it ought to have helped Democrats again in 2016. Barack Obama helped rescue the US from the financial crash and presided over a record series of consecutive quarters of job growth. Unfortunately for Clinton, many Americans simply did not feel as positive. Stagnant wage levels and soaring inequality were symptoms of the malaise felt by many voters. Trump successfully convinced them to believe this was caused by bad trade deals and a rigged economy.

Neither socialism nor the proto-fascist homilies of Trump offered much in the way of coherent alternatives either, but the bottom line was that Clinton simply failed to articulate a convincing defence of modern American capitalism.

Also, the fact that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was investigating the Democratic candidate until just two days before voting with a view to bring possible criminal charges for her flouting of data security laws was just the most extreme manifestation of the issue. It was damaging not just that the FBI bungled its timing of what ultimately proved to be a dead-end investigation but because it played into the notion that the Clintons behaved as if the law did not apply to them.

Clinton’s campaign slogans are notoriously vacuous. Obama’s “hope and change” turned out to be more of the former than the latter. Yet Clinton’s “stronger together” only really began to take shape in response to Trump’s divisiveness. It was attractive to many Democrats as a symbol of what they felt the campaign was about but it ensured the battle was fought on Trump’s terms.

Trump in many ways ran to Clinton’s left on some economic issues, with a populist appeal to a growing group of unaffiliated independent-minded voters. But the way the man carried himself during the election was not of dignity. The man seems a buffoon – and now he has the codes to nuclear warheads.

What of all of the climate treaties that were signed under Obama? Trump has openly stated that he wants to “rip them all up.” What of the Human Rights afforded to American citizens and non-domicile residents? From a man who has pledged to build a wall across the Mexican border things do not look too good. The man has no experience of politics.

9/11 was a dark day for the rest of the world. A light has gone out.