Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Protests are a Necessary and Appropriate Response to the Trump Administration

Donald Trump has augured protest unlike any that have gone before it. The level size and scope of these protests are unprecedented. They started while Trump was on the campaign trail and persist to this day. We have seen a massive protest on Inauguration Day January 20th and the Women's March that took place on January 21.

The electoral victory has spawned an unprecedented movement. Protest is important and never more than in the dark times heralded by Trump's win in November.  The reasons to protest are numerous and include the numerous swipes Trump and Republicans have taken on climate action and environmental protections.

Republicans emboldened by Trump's win have already started to gut environmental protections and transparency.  Trump's Executive Order (EO) to enfeeble the EPA was followed by the GOP's efforts to kill the agency outright. Republicans also want to sell-off public lands and strip enforcement powers from federal agencies. Trump has used his executive authority to reanimate two fossil fuel pipelines. These pipelines are both massive carbon bombs and they are incompatible with efforts to keep temperatures within acceptable limits.  Following Trump's EO the last remaining Dakota Access pipeline protest camp was raided and burned to the ground.

This is a very dark time in American history, however, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel if Americans take note and realize that their democracy is at risk alongside their planet.

Another salient reason for protesting is Trump's slate of nominees including Rex Tillerson as the Secretary of State and Scott Pruitt at the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Betsy Devos as the Education Secretary nominee. Other reasons why people are protesting include the Muslim ban which has been condemned roundly and leading businesses are challenging in the courts.

President Obama has also indicated that he supports the right of protesters to resist the policies of the Trump administration. Obama, in his first public statement since leaving the White House, said he was "heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country...Citizens exercising their Constitutional right to assemble, organize and have their voices heard by the elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake," he said.

So much has been accomplished through protest. In the US protest succeeded in helping to kill the Keystone XL pipeline and the Dakota Access pipeline (although both of these decisions have been reversed by Trump's Executive Order).

Perhaps the most heartening and relevant global protests for those opposing Trump took place in Romania. Recent protests in that country caused the Romanian government to back down from an emergency decree that decriminalized some forms of corruption. The people said no and they turned out for five consecutive days by the hundreds of thousands forcing the government to back down. As they said in Romania, "we have an obligation and a duty to resist."

Protests against Trump are truly global. Avaaz has put together a "global letter" to Trump signed by people all around the world. The letter concludes with the following words: "As citizens of the world, we stand united against your brand of division."

Opposition to Trump is not only coming from environmentalists and leftists, even the Episcopal Church has urged its members to protest. The Church Times reports that dozens of Episcopalian Bishops urged Episcopalians to protest Trump.

There is also more shadowy opposition from groups like Anonymous who have warned Trump to resign by February 28th citing his lies and support for the Dakota Access pipeline. They mention his "unprecedented attack on basic human decency and civil rights" and they go on to say, "We will protest, resist and continue to practice civil disobedience until we can clearly state that this regime is at an end. You have exactly 35 days or we will take to the streets in a day of resistance...We are a nation founded on revolution and we will continue that tradition until our government is once again stable and incompetent hands.

If Trump and his administration does not resign (and of course we all know they will not) Anonymous is calling for another day of mass protest on March 1, where Trump and his administration can "expect us all."

While there have been and will be a number of protests, perhaps the biggest will take place on April 29th. Organized by the People's Climate Movement, this march is arguably the most important protest in American history. On this day a broad coalition will come together to say "no" to the Trump administration's environment and climate assaults.

The Green Market Oracle has studied the cost of climate and environmental neglect and we will remain focused on protest as a powerful form of resistance to the authoritarian dystopia of the Trump administration.

People resist Trump for love of country, respect for people and the Constitution. We all need clean air and water, this should be a fundamental human right and yet these are among the things that are at risk. We protest in defense of our planet and future generations, we stand up so that we will be counted as those who said "no" to Trump's dark policy agenda.  

How will you resist?

1 comment:

Anna Porter said...

Richard:
I read your blog religiously and realized that I've never commented before. Thank you for being the voice of reason in a chaotic world! Keep up the good and important work!