This Saturday is expected to be an historic day with more than 600 marches planned around the world to protest the inauguration of Donald Trump and to resist oppression.
The Women’s march on Washington is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of people and there are hundreds more events planned across the US. In Canada, the demos have a focus on stopping the spread of hate in this country.
Naming the system
The election of Trump and to a lesser extent the Brexit vote in the UK are shaking the political underpinnings of the post Cold War neo-liberal era to it’s foundations.
In this sense, the political terrain is ripe for change. There is a new questioning of the nature of the system. People, particularly young people, are fed up with a system that only offers war, oppression and poverty—and are looking for new and radical alternatives.
Unfortunately however, this moment also has the ability to open up a racist reaction that could set back the fight for a better world, and many people around Trump are working overtime to push a new bolder racism.
In the absence of an alternative people can be persuaded to scapegoat, whether that be Muslims or refugees. We cannot let that happen.
Inaugurate the resistance
The demos against Trump are a catalyst for a much broader revolt against the capitalist system as a whole. They began on the night of the election victory and have already had an impact—from heightened resistance at Standing Rock, to hundreds of cities holding rallies to demand a $15 minimum wage, to more cities becoming or reiterating their positions as sanctuary cities and refusing to cooperate with Trump’s threats to deport millions of people.
This women’s march has also expanded its basis of unity to show support for workers rights, disability rights, reproductive and LGBTQIA rights, civil rights and migrant rights, and to call for environmental justice. This is a solid foundation for the future of the movements in the US.
As we have seen with the Kellie Leitch campaign, the rise of racism in the US can encourage racists here. The conservative leadership race is providing a platform for these vile ideas to spread. The rise in hate crimes against Muslims and immigrants in Canada has been challenged but there is much work to do. The demos this Saturday will be an important boost to campaigns to end hatred in this country as well.
To find more information about a march near you (there are 26 in Canada!) please see: https://www.womensmarch.com/sisters