This is a change the scheduled programming from what this blog is usually about, but is far too important not to speak up about*.
This blog was created to talk about women, LGBTQ and minority representation within the film and television industry. I started writing over two years ago, and what I have learnt is that progress is a slow and painful game. Some things get better, and some things get worse.
However, in the space of less than a week, Trump has managed to tear down years of progress in just a handful of executive orders. We all feel desperate, and what I have felt this past week is that I don’t know what I can do about it. In the UK we watched our country tear itself apart over Brexit in June, we watched as horrifying statements about immigrants and refugees were tossed around the mainstream media by the likes of pint-bearing ‘people’s man’ Nigel Farage. These attitudes, and the Brexit vote, has helped enormously with electing Trump and platforming racist rhetoric. Last week, Theresa May (our unelected PM) was the first leader to meet with Trump – securing the UK’s support for racism and bigotry. She then refused to condemn Trump’s ban on Muslims from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Yemen and Somalia entering the USA. I mean, what did we expect from the woman who rolled out the ‘go home’ vans just a few years ago.
Things are bad, and they aren’t going to get much better unless we all speak up. Honestly, I spent a lot of the last weekend in a hole just re-reading my twitter feed and watching the news. It didn’t help. If, like me, you are feeling lost or disillusioned (especially in the UK as it’s harder to know what exactly we can do), I’ve compiled a list of protests, events, ways to write to your MP and places to donate money to. Please let me know if there are things that can be added to this list, as I am sure there are.
There were over 100,000 people at the Womens March on London on the 21st Jan. Let’s not make that a one off.
Resist, and stay safe x
Demo organised by Stop the War Coalition, Stand Up to Racism, Muslim Association of Britain, Muslim Engagement and Development, the Muslim Council of Britain, CND and Friends of Al-Aqsa.
Saturday 4th Feb
Starts at 11am outside the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square, London. Sister protests are being set up across the country.
TONIGHT (Monday 30th Jan)
Protest outside Downing Street, 6pm – 8pm. Speakers include; Owen Jones, Baroness Shami Chakrabarti, Wail Qasim (BLM) Caroline Lucas (Green Party).
Sister protests happening across the country.
Write to your MP and tell them how you feel about the ban and Trump’s state visit to the UK.
Write to Theresa May… (try not to swear too much)
There’s also several places that you can donate to to help combat the ban and help refugees:
UK based Hope not Hate, foundation organised by Brendan Cox (husband of MP Jo Cox who was killed in the lead up to the Brexit campaign by a right-wing Britain First supporter)
Help Refugees aim to fill the gaps where governments are not or will direct aid:
The American Civil Liberties Union have been the driving force behind getting lawyers to airports to help those who have been detained, and are working hard to reverse the ban legally.
(if you really like film criticism, then consider buying a year’s subscription to Bright Wall/Dark Room, as they are currently donating all subscription income to the ACLU)
International Rescue Committee are on the ground helping refugees fleeing war torn countries.
Consider getting rid of Uber, their CEO has made it clear he wants to work with Trump and they refused to join the NY taxi drivers strike for solidarity with immigrants.
In fact, here is a whole list of companies to avoid – https://www.facebook.com/notes/ryan-mack/boycott-trump-list-of-of-companies-to-refuse-to-support/10150222197459365/
Boycotting can send a strong message, and is something that all of us can do that requires no monetary contribution.
If you can give two hours of your time to stand outside the US Embassy and protest, or just £2 to Help Refugees, it all helps.
*this post is going to be UK-centric mostly because that is where I am based and I want to encourage those in the UK to resist and protest wherever and however they can. For info on US protests, marches and donations see here, here and here