You are viewing blog items for January 2017.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 19 January 2017, 17:32
In exactly 24 hours Donald Trump will be sworn in as President of the United States of America. I’m sure, like me, you are horrified at the thought and scared about the future. You are not alone: 58% of Britons think the world will be a less safe place, while only 4% think it will be safer.*
Many of you might be tempted to sit at home with a box of chocolates or hide under the duvet. But some of you might want to show your opposition to Trump by doing something more pro-active, instead.
Here are six suggestions to survive Trump’s inauguration:
1. Post this up on your Facebook and Twitter pages
Hey @realDonaldTrump, did you get the message?
#HOPETrumpsHate Please share
The inauguration of Donald Trump makes our world an incredibly dangerous place. But it should also start of the fightback. A fight for hope, not hatred.
If you believe another world is possible then let’s get through tomorrow and let’s make it happen
* Polling carried out by YouGov for HOPE not hate
Posted: 19 Jan 2017 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Akeela Ahmed | on: Wednesday, 18 January 2017, 11:13
2016 was unfortunately marked by dog whistle politics, the rise of the Far Right, and an increase in hate crimes against women and minorities. We are living in increasingly challenging times, and when I speak to everyday grassroots women, they often tell me about their fears for their safety, anxieties about what the future holds, and report a sense that the most divisive elements of society have been emboldened on the back of political campaigns which have been dogged by xenophobic rhetoric. I was keen to participate in the Women’s March, so that I could mark the beginning of 2017 with positive action, which would unify and bring people together, irrespective of their background or views.
The Women’s March is taking place in many cities all over the world, on the 21st of January 2017, the day after President-elect Trump’s inauguration, and will be a global show of strength and solidarity of diverse communities marching for equality and the protection of fundamental rights for all. As a passionate believer in listening to and promoting diverse women’s voices, I couldn't wait to get involved with and support a global movement for everyone, organised and led by women. Women’s voices are fiercely needed now more than ever before, as during the US elections we have seen how women have been demeaned, patronised and are expected to put up with routine sexual harassment. Moreover, we are now living in a world in which for many women of colour and especially Muslim women, physical assault, verbal abuse and anti-Muslim hate attacks, are not only on the increase but have become a daily norm. Thus it is vital that women’s voices of all backgrounds, including minority groups, are meaningfully heard, and their experiences which are often intersectional in nature - that is they face multiple challenges such as racism, misogyny and ablism - are acknowledged and amplified.
We may not all agree on all issues, but when faced overwhelmingly with the prospect that our fundamental rights to exist are being threatened, it does not matter. Critically, many unified voices will be much more effective and powerful in sending a message to those who would seek to divide, that we will not allow a climate of fear and hatred to overcome us. And our message is clear: walls will not be built to separate us from our neighbours, Muslims are equal citizens and justice (social/political/economic) is a fundamental right for all.
It would be too easy to focus on the negative consequences of the new era of divisive politics that we now find ourselves in. This would however, only lead to despair and hopelessness, which in turn leads to fear, and this fear is exploited by the far right and other xenophobes.
It is my hope that by coming together in solidarity, across all boundaries of sexuality, ethnicity, race and religion, we will demonstrate that a united and just society is not a far away dream but a very real and tangible possibility. Change will happen when we join together to stand up to and fight for justice against misogyny, racism, homophobia, Islamophobia and all forms of bigotry and hatred, taking our negative feelings of despondency and channeling them into positive affirmative action. So let’s come together to march on London, not in protest but in celebration of diversity, equality and peace.
There are further marches taking place elsewhere in the UK, including:
- Bangor, Gwynedd
- St. Austell
For more information on the London march see https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/womens-march-on-london-tickets-29951554907?aff=es2
Posted: 18 Jan 2017 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 16 January 2017, 14:07
Today is Martin Luther King Day.
It is a time when much of America, and the wider world, celebrates the brave commitment to peace that drove Dr King throughout his life – and, indeed, cost him that life.
During King’s era of the Civil Rights struggles America was a divided country. Today it is more divided than ever.
Donald Trump is about to take office. He has talked about ‘making America great again’, yet his rhetoric has not often matched such lofty ideals.
Just two days ago, the President-elect launched a disgusting attack on veteran civil rights hero John Lewis, tweeting that he was “all talk”, after Lewis said that Trump was not a legitimate president.
A long-serving Congressman, John Lewis is the last surviving speaker from the 1963 March on Washington, led by Martin Luther King.
He was savagely beaten by state troopers during the historic 1965 march over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.
Like several other politicians, he has announced that he will not be attending Trump’s inauguration this Friday.
The UK, too, is grappling with division.
Economic anxieties, worries about immigration, our future relationship with the European Union, pressures on housing, the NHS and social care are all rising. Communities face unprecedented pressures.
Politicians from the radical right have leapt in to the void, seeking to exploit these fears for their own political ends. The rise of such right-wing populism has shaken the political core of Europe.
Its politics is deceptively simple and based on the ‘blame game’: pointing the finger at the elites, at the media, ‘liberals’, immigrants and minority communities, seeking to turn the clock back to a mythical “better age”.
Don’t give in
As with Dr King’s time, it can be easy to give in to despair. There were those who lashed out against change then. Who responded with violence to the call for equal rights.
To opt for the easy choice and turn on our neighbours is a fool’s quest. It is a race to the bottom.
Yet it can be easy to feel cowed.
Now more than ever it is important to remember Martin Luther King and redouble our efforts to challenge prejudice and hatred; to build a society fit for everyone.
So as we prepare to witness the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States, I want you to reflect on Dr King’s famous words:
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
2016 was a difficult year; 2017 will be a challenging one. But it will also be a year of hope.
Posted: 16 Jan 2017 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments