Outside the United States embassy in Grosvenor Square on the day of Donald Trumps inauguration last Friday, several thousand angry protesters gathered to show their discontent towards the rhetoric that won Trump the electoral college on the 8th of November last year.
The rally included several speeches from different figures including the Green Party MP Caroline Lucas. Despite criticism of the rally’s motive of questioning the election of the United States’ president in the United Kingdom, the message couldn’t have been more clear: the protesters will not tolerate intolerance by those in power. Trump’s platform is certainly steeped in intolerance, and he certainly holds a position of global power; a position which can have severe knock-on effects for the politics in other countries.
The speeches at the rally were intent on making clear that the rhetoric and policy proposals by Trump’s presidential campaign, his appointees to his cabinet thereafter, will not address the causes of the most pertinent issues facing the world or concerns of those that voted for him. It is a regressive step which will face mass resistance, globally, from the very moment he is sworn in, until bridges-not-walls are built and root causes rather than symptoms are dealt with.
The rally, which seemed to originally be intended to solely be a rally outside of the US embassy, spontaneously transform into a demonstration. After all of the speeches were done, one of the organisers of the event declared:
“Alright, we’re going for a walk down Oxford street. Let’s go”
With a portable speaker on wheels to lead with the chanting, the same organiser lead the crowd down Oxford Street. The police were panicking whilst vehicles froze in frustration or sounded their horns in support, casual shoppers either joined in with the chanting or the demonstration itself.
The demonstration eventually made its way to Oxford Circus crossing. Protesters sat on the floor. For a brief few minutes the once seemingly unstoppable continuation of the crossing was halted just at the bequest of a group of angry young people.
“Calm down, it’s just a Democratic process,” screams a protester to some of the bewildered public watching on.
“This is what Democracy looks like”
The demonstration made its way back to Grosvenor Square, to where the US embassy is located; just in case our ‘cousins’ haven’t received the message yet. The chanting went on into the night.
So what was the point?
Simply, Trump embodies the antithesis to security in modern society, and he holds the highest point of office in the most powerful country on earth – the American Empire.
If you take Trump on his word at face value he may hit on an anti-establishment note on occasion, (everyday people have a lot to quarrel with the establishment about, as of the last 30-40 years) but take him on his actions – from the tolerance of others, common decency, nuclear proliferation, climate, the economy, nepotism, authoritarianism – he embodies an aggressively regressive direction of travel.
This is what Neo-Fascism looks like. It must be opposed on every corner, at every turn.