I don’t know about you, but it feels like a hard week. Trump got sworn in last Friday and ever since then it’s felt a little bit like we’re lurching from one crisis to another. It doesn’t help when every day there’s a new ‘executive order’ from Trump, and the British websites suddenly lurch into ‘live updates’ mode, with pages giving rolling constantly updated coverage of whatever complete chaos is developing. I find it equal amounts of fascinating and stressful.
It’s been a long time since studying archaeology, history or the classics could be considered a non/un-political act. How we look at the history of women, excluded groups, ethnicity, hermaphrodites (more of a classics thing, I’ll give you) and religion is directly informed by politics. As I’ve said, I’m no longer an actively practice academic, but I am still deeply informed by what I learnt in research and teaching.
So, if you, like me, are looking aghast at the current political situation, here’s a shortlist of (UK) action points for the current week you can do whilst sitting on your sofa!
- Donate to the American Civil Liberties Union. They are working to challenge the executive order banning all people from 7 Muslim-majority countries, in particular the deportation of people who have the legal right to visit or remain in the US (including green-card holders). They will need a lot of support in the coming years, if this week is anything to go by.
- Write to your MP. Follow the link and it’s extremely easy. Write to them if you’re worried by the governments (in)action, about its failure to condemn the executive order banning entry from those 7 countries, about us leaving the EU. I wrote to mine, even though he’s a frustratingly spineless tool. But the key here is registering your concern. Imagine if even 1 in 10 people wrote to their MP?
- Write to the Prime minister. Ask her to stand up against racism and discrimination. Ask her to condemn Trump’s executive order. Again, imagine if even 1 in 100 people wrote in?
- Sign Hope not Hate’s petition asking the Prime minister to rethink her position in regards to Trump’s executive order and her failure to condemn it with any strength.
- Sign this official House of Commons petition to prevent Trump from making a full ‘state visit’ to the UK.
- Donate or join the Open Rights Group, who are working to protect free speech and privacy online and in the digital world. They also have a petition to stop the UK passing it’s incredibly invasive data sets on to Trump.
And a shortlist of protests expected:
- March for Science (London) is currently in planning stages, they will have a date soon hopefully. This is definitely one I will be on if I can arrange it.
- Unite for Europe is scheduled for the 25th of March. It’s a protest about leaving the EU. Honestly, I think it will be too little too late, considering we’ll have article 50 by then, but I’m keeping it in my diary and will decided closer to the time.
- Whenever Trump comes to the UK there will be a march against him. Definitely one to look out for.
- And finally very last minute – there is a protest tomorrow (Monday 30th) at Downing Street against the executive order and the UKs complicity/lack of clear governmental backbone. As long as everything goes smoothly for the event I’m helping with tomorrow, I should be there.
- EDIT – there is also the Women’s March in London on Sunday 5th March 12pm.
With thanks to Liv on twitter who provided impetus and links and enthusiasm!