“Trump is a danger to us all”
Candice Hannigan took to the streets in protest against prejudice, against fear and against Donald Trump
Many of the public walking by the Anti-Trump rally in Glasgow asked why we were bothering with something happening in America. There were frequent volleys of “it’s not affecting you so go home” but as an American it does affect me.
The point is anyone no matter who or where they come from can effect change, by the very structures that elected Trump in the first place. Everyone, wherever they are, can influence that change and that is why we all joined on a very cold Monday night in Buchanan Street to make our point.
When we first heard Stand UP Against Racism Glasgow were joining co-ordinated rallies across Scotland and the UK I thought I’d play my part and mobilise fellow students from Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU).
It wasn’t hard to motivate people: there is a huge feeling of outrage against Trump’s political philosophy. Dozens of GCU students signed up under the “Students Dump Trump” banner and this is only the start of a series of concerted action against Trump.
We were joined by teaching staff and academics from the university – from security staff to professors. It’s reminiscent of the independence movement, which I also took part in, which brought together all sections of Scottish society and stood in unison.
There is a palpable feeling not just of indignation but also a real fear this one man, who has suddenly become all powerful, can set back many of the advances in human rights it has taken us a whole history to achieve.
As an American I can see we’ve suddenly and very abruptly gone full circle from Obama. He may not have been universally like or hugely effective but he wasn’t malevolent. There’s a real fear with Trump he takes action, and creates policy, based on hatred and ignorance. And that should worry us all.
Leaders should react and respond to the needs of their citizens. But with Trump we already have a regime of anti-Islamic feeling being brewed by draconian and knee-jerk right wing politics.
In the short-term we want the UK government to take a stronger line in speaking out against Trump's travel ban on refugees and people from Muslim countries. We are already seeing politicians taking very diplomatic stances because they fear repercussions. But the government has to be firm and object to these kinds of policies because we are all affected by them.
The rally marks only the beginning of anti-Trump protests. We’ve seen already how Trump responds to criticism simply by creating ever more controversial policies so if you think what he’s currently doing with immigration and homeland security is extreme, you haven’t seen anything yet. His brand of politics doesn’t lend itself to Republicanism.
Like dictators throughout history, this is one man’s personal tirade that has no reference to any apparent political ideology. It’s simply all about prejudice and self-aggrandisement.
These are scary days for us all. The biggest fear is that we are all affected by the way America, my nation, deals with the world and that is why there has been so many mass protest.
It’s unprecedented: never in living memory has a US preseident created this amount of global revulsion. And the worst part is he seems to enjoy it.