it's time to get above ourselves

Scotland Against Trump

c3clce5wmamicx7A massive demo in Edinburgh last night showed solidarity with people being persecuted for their religious beliefs in America and welcomed refugees to Scotland. Similar protests were seen in Kirkwall, Dundee, St Andrews, Aberdeen and Glasgow and are just the start of a campaign to resist the rise of the far-right and ‘shut the country down’ when Trump arrives for a state visit. This was an impressive show of force for an event organised in 48 hours to get 10,000 people on the streets of the capital. It shows the latent strength of the (much maligned) Scottish left, the power of social media as an organising tool, and the energy hope and positivity of young people who dominated the protest.

The Scotsman managed two paragraphs coverage. The speakers included:

Shuwanna Aaron, NUS BAME officer
Rhea Wolfson, Labour NEC member
Maggie Chapman, Scottish Greens co-convener
Assad Khan, Edinburgh University Islamic Society
Pinar Aksu, Refugee Rights Activist
Deborah Kayembe, Human Rights Lawyer
Jonathon Shafi, Scotland Against Trump
Ben McPherson, SNP MSP

Organiser Jonathon Shafi said: “This demonstration is about putting a line in the sand over the Muslim ban. We will not stop fighting until it is repealed, and until Trump is stopped from entering the UK. We want a complete break from the Trump regime – we want to end the so called special relationship. We are going to be tough on Trump, and tough on the causes of Trump. We need to question the nature of the society that produces such monsters. We need a new economy, and a new democracy. We are going to build a new type of special relationship from below, one that links the movement of opposition here and in the US and beyond.”

Refugee rights activist Pinar Aksu said: “I am inspired to see so many of you here. This is just the start of our fight back against Trump. We are brothers and sisters regardless of our colour or background. We cannot be diverse, and we will not give into fear”

Kirsty Haigh, an organiser of the Edinburgh Scotland Against Trump demonstration said: “Trump is trying to create a new normal where racism and bigotry are accepted as part of everyday life. It’s encouraging that thousands of people are willing to come out, take a stand and say this will not be our normal. Our demonstration is one of dozens taking place across the UK. There is a growing international movement, and Scotland will be part of it.”

Scotland Against Trump now plans a protest on 11 February to march from the Tory HQ in Edinburgh and shut down the American Embassy. This is the start of a resistance to racism and the normalisation of fascism in power. It articulates the values and solidarity of a new Scotland and aspires to humanity and decency in public life. It is explicitly anti-fascist and rejects the sanctification of Trump and everything he represents by the British State.

The dissembling and talk of a ‘downgraded visit’ by the British Government today will make no difference. They have just twigged they have created a massive pr problem for the Queen, a security nightmare and the opportunity for a huge protest against the far-right and the monarchy rolled into one. The global backlash against Trump’s presidency is going to be huge and unifying. If this is what can be organised in a couple of days the protests when he arrives will be unprecedented.

Those who argue that the protestors are young or naive are right – they are. But there is nothing wrong with being young and naive. There is nothing wrong with disgust. Trump is a unifying force and as it becomes clearer the relationship between Brexit and the ‘special relationship’ the protest against the new right will grow and feed into the movement for self-determination for democracy and for solidarity.

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26 Comments

  • Redgauntlet 4 months ago

    Mike, where is the Facebook share button?

    Reply
  • Apathetic 4 months ago

    But what’s the point?

    I used to go on marches.

    I went down to London and marched against the Iraq War.

    I went down to London and marched against the introduction of tuition fees in England.

    I attended other protests at home and occasionally abroad.

    It was all pointless, completely futile and a waste of energy for all involved.

    The powers that be rarely listen and if they do they only pay lip service to the people.

    The only way to change things is at the ballot box or by integrating within the system (establishment) and changing policy/opinion wherever you can.

    Reply
  • Roddy Macdonald 4 months ago

    “It shows the latent strength of the (much maligned) Scottish left”

    “Those who argue that the protestors are young or naive are right – they are. But there is nothing wrong with being young and naive.”

    Utter tosh. I am not young, naive or a Leftie. Nor were many of the folk who, like me, attended the march. The only thing that united the marchers was our disgust at the fascist Trump.

    Please don’t try to claim attendance at a clearly billed anti-Trump march as some kind of Leftie resurgence. Being horrified at fascism is not the preserve of the Left. Likewise, folk turning up to march against Trump are not too keen on freezing their chuckies off while assorted self-important Lefties drone into a tuppenny-ha’penny PA system that 90% of the crowd can’t hear. We came to march against Trump, not to big-up the local Wolfie Smiths.

    Reply
    • Bella Caledonia Editor 4 months ago

      “Leftie”. Was the golf club closed for the day?

      Who do you think organised the march Roddy?

      Reply
  • Steve Cairns 4 months ago

    Demonstrations, displays of solidarity and ultimately civil disobedience help build the popular movements which bring change. No emancipation in human history, has resulted from the established order deciding for themselves that some hitherto”inferior” demographic should be afforded the same rights as themselves.
    For most significant advances, years, or even generations, of dedicated protest have slowly and painfully pushed progressive ideas into public debate and then legislation. Posting comments on the internet has not yet entirely replaced ambulatory protest. A lack of exercise does neither the protestor, nor the democracy any good.

    Reply
    • c rober 4 months ago

      Same sort of demonstrations that led to tanks in George SQ? and the birth of the Scottish Socialists , weavers strikes and charges of treason with hangings.

      This is why our chocolate teapot of a parliament need to stand up to Westminster , in the manner of fight that finds followers , and that means empowering them with the likes of removing the “criminality” of the licence fee so removing our masters power – or a proper press complaints body.

      As long as Holyrood has the power to tell the courts in Scotland what to prosecute for then it has bite , but is yet to show its teeth as out Guard Dog – its a lap dog.

      Reply
    • Apathetic 4 months ago

      You’re partially right but the protests have to be useful and used in an effective manner.

      A couple of hundred people in a city square in Inverness or Glasgow shouting into the wind against trump will achieve nothing- he lives on another continent.

      Scotland voice is ignored at the best of times. May wouldn’t care if the whole country was involved in civil disobedience…

      Reply
    • douglas clark 4 months ago

      Couldn’t agree more. Though sometimes there are ‘steam engine’ moments in history where vast technological changes suddenly outpace the, up to then, pace of social change. The media you and I are using right now has had a profound effect in creating solidarity when, beforehand, it would have been next to impossible. Several people – who are clearly victims of an over-reaching state – that happen to live in the Dumfries area, have benefited by the over-reaching nature of the resistance. I doubt that, in a pre-internet era, I would have heard of these people, far less have contributed ( the admittedly small sums I could) to Mark Franklands appeals on their behalf.

      I am glad we are better connected, for, on balance, t’internet is a force for good.

      Reply
  • leavergirl 4 months ago

    Oi. Where are the protests REAL religious persecution in, say, Africa or the Middle East? This is just as nutty as the American women protesting regarding their (long won) reproductive rights. Where are the feminists protesting the medieval treatment of women in other lands?

    Only yesterday, the anti Trump ban activists chanting “peace” clocked a Trump supporter so hard he was out cold. Antifa in action? But they are not smashing windows any more, which I am sure the airports have been grateful for.

    Reply
    • c rober 4 months ago

      White European and American guilt perhaps , for helping to create the problem historically?

      The Western world says it is hands off with the continent of Africa , personally I think its a cop out under the guise of said guilt , and it chooses instead to let Africa use its own “U.N” – however it still has a debt to pay towards creating upward mobility for slave history , for lending money , so its a cop out squared if not cubed.

      Perhaps if there STILL was a market to be protected , for western companies , then Africa would rise – Labour is Cheap , housing is cheap , materials are within the continent so less need of expensive imports and of course increased employment …. So perhaps this is why China has been silently investing into it with roads , rail , factories and so on?

      Its all fine and dandy for those sitting saying yeah but its a backward place and in the dark ages , with religion used as reasoning for genocide , for FGM – but is the likes of America that far forward? OR Europe 70 years ago , r even the UK/US and EU in the blaming of immigrants for the long term problems at the Hands of its politicians and corporations?

      The iClasses will sit sipping their Fair Trade African coffee , tweeting on Chinese made devices , happy in that they have made some change – Africa has its couch based saviors , so everyone can sleep soundly in the notion that something constructive has been done , safe in the knowledge that the news is avoided on their rolling news channels.

      Reply
      • leavergirl 4 months ago

        Saw a sign from a protest this morning.
        It said: Unfuck Greece.
        Now that is something I can support.
        Protesters who actually have a cause — how refreshing — not just a hissy fit over some other nation’s politician whom they don’t like.

        Reply
        • c rober 4 months ago

          Greece has found out just how hard it is to be in the EU , and the sign you speak of perhaps should be amended to Only Greece can Unfuck Greece. You cant vote in new politicians and avoid the debt elephant in the room – well unless your America and just kick the can down the road.

          Greece is where it is of its own making , of cooking the books for entry , then expecting the rest of the EU to pay for ITS civil services , low pension age , high wages of civil servants , low hour working week – and of course the olympic level tax avoidance doesn’t help. As a result of having its fiscal levers removed it has no wiggle room to adjust – something that Scotland should be very attentive to in joining the EURO proper. OF course the Greek wealthy just moved their inceom offshore – ie shipping.

          Today it has been found by independent inspection that the BAILOUT monies it received has went in one door and out the other at 95 percent – back to the Banks that they owe , and where as a result only 5 percent has effectively went into the local economy. This hasnt staved off Greek collapse , but that of German and French banks instead.

          The same fiscally illiterate voters in Portugal and Italy do the same each election – worsening the situation and prolonging it . Spain is returning to economic good lands , as is EIRE – so half of the basket cases seem to have mended their situation. But only EIRE had a proper banking asset fire sale of mortgages and housing – so Spain is still there exposed until its banks are forced to take the highest offer in order to survive – rather than to offer unsecured 100 percent mortgages. But overall the protection of the Banks is still the problem because of the fear of contagion.

          Reply
          • leavergirl 4 months ago

            True. But to unfuck, Greece will have to have help from the outside, just like it did with its clusterfuck.

        • Bella Caledonia Editor 4 months ago

          Protesting Trump is about more than that. With Trident on the Clyde and his avowed aim of taking down the EU his politics matters.

          Reply
          • leavergirl 4 months ago

            Yeah? You think Mrs Clinton would have removed the Trident? If so, you are dreaming. But of course, there wouldn’t have been anti-Clinton protests in Scotland.

  • James Dow 4 months ago

    How ironic, its the values of Donald’s inherent Scottishness from his mother that will restore America. Can’t say the same about the Scottishness of the current inhabitants of Scotland, the fourth estate drones. I think we were right to emigrate to Australia.

    Reply
    • c rober 4 months ago

      What with its long term racism , current racism on the indigenous , or boating its refugees to America.

      All around its coast its telling people to stay out naturally – and its points system doing the same internally for visas.

      Perhaps then with this trade agreement in the former colonies then the UK can have a freedom of movement pact – though I doubt it , there would end up no one left in the UK but the unemployed.

      Reply
  • Gaga Glasgow 4 months ago

    If democracy means a thing, it means we need to put up with pricks like Trump every now and then. It’s the same with freedom of expression; if you believe in that, you better be prepared to hear unpleasant stuff or opinions you disagree with.

    Otherwise it’s all crap.

    Reply
    • c rober 4 months ago

      Hes dismantling America – to make it more American , we should fear the words of Niemoller more than Nostradamus.

      Reply
  • John Harper 4 months ago

    I find the snarky and sarcastic responses of the editor extremely unpleasant. I would urge you to be more loving and inclusive. Mr McDonald is, on this issue at least, on our side. We need all the help we can get. Especially from many who share only some of our views. I wish Bella nothing but goodwill.

    Reply
  • Willie 4 months ago

    Donald Trump is hope for millions of the economically disenfranchised. He has struck a rich chord of justified resentment. Islamists through repeated acts of slaughter against soft civilian men women and children in cities around the Western World has for many justified Trump”s stance against Muslims. So for many, what not to like about Mr Trump and if he delivers the millions of jobs that he says he will, why all this anguish. Could he succeed where the left has failed utterly. Well some American’s certainly think so.

    Reply
    • Redgauntlet 4 months ago

      Willie, allow me to change a few things around in your post to make my point. My changes in BOLD CAPITALS..

      “ADOLF HITLER is hope for millions of the economically disenfranchised. He has struck a rich chord of justified resentment. JEWS through repeated acts of USURY AND PLANS FOR WORLD DOMINATION against soft civilian men women and children in cities around the Western World has for many justified HITLER’S stance against JEWS. So for many, what not to like about Mr HITLER and if he delivers the millions of jobs that he says he will, why all this anguish. Could he succeed where the left has failed utterly. Well some GERMANS certainly think so.

      Reply
      • leavergirl 4 months ago

        Oh put a sock in it, everybody and the martians too are tired of the endless pathetic hitlering.

        Reply
  • Mac 4 months ago

    It’s not a Muslim ban, it’s a ban on the peoples of 7 Muslim countries who are deemed a potential threat to US citizens and it isn’t even permanent. This is just more pathetic lies from leftists. No wonder the cause of Scottish independence fails so abysmally.

    Reply

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