Unite the resistance against Trump's 'Muslim Ban'
Donald Trump’s viciously racist executive orders barring entry to the USA to visitors from seven Muslim countries, barring indefinitely Syrian refugees whose rights are guaranteed by international treaties, and even preventing US residents with the famous green card from returning to their homes, has provoked outrage both at home and internationally. People were blocked from travelling at airports around the world or interned on arrival in America. When his order was deemed illegal by the acting Attorney General, he instantly dismissed her.
But Trump’s provocations have generated a massive and militant response. Not only the two or three million who marched in cities across the country the day following his inauguration, but now by a wave of protests at airports, on campuses and in city centres. It seems like the women’s marches, they too are spreading around the world. 200,000 marched in London on 30 January to protest not only the ban but Prime Minister Theresa May’s invitation to Trump to pay a state visit later in the year.
The executive order banning Muslims is nothing to do with securing America against terrorist attack. If they had been the list would have had to include Saudi Arabia from whence the 9/11 attackers came. The order will probably be deemed illegal when brought before courts; some aspects have already have been struck down. His claim that Syrian Christians would be exempted from the refugee ban reveals the islamophobia of the measure. The purpose of the orders is to unleash a ‘strategy of tension’ against the Muslim population of the USA, to encourage the most reactionary white racist and religious bigoted parts of his electorate.
Without excusing Trump himself, the hand of the so-called ‘alt-right’ fascist ideologue Steve Bannon, is visible in these measures. The Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor to the United States President has just been appointed to the National Security Council, described by the Chicago Tribune as “effectively the central nervous system of the U.S. foreign policy and national security apparatus.” At the same time he demoted the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of national intelligence to invite only status.
Trump is stuffing the administration with reliable hard rightists and purging it of anyone who might hesitate to fulfil his diktats. At the same time he threatens and tries to intimidate the conservative as well as the liberal media. We can expect even more poisonous dishes to emerge from his White House kitchen cabinet.
Trump is making draconian use of the presidential powers, and will trample through the lauded checks and balances of the US Constitution if he can get away with it. He is making unprecedented use of executive orders to launch his programme and clearly hopes to bounce the Republican dominated congress into accepting most of them.
These latter rightly entertain fears of what destructive and divisive forces this sorcerer’s apprentice may unleash in US society. His constant flurry of abusive tweets, act as a daily incitement of his social base. But they equally – indeed even more so - rouse up powerful social forces against him.
Clearly it is the duty of socialists, and indeed sincere democrats, around the world to mount the largest possible protests against Trump and his doings; his “America First” policy, his protectionism, his threats of unilateral military interventions, his provocations aimed at the EU and China, his contempt for the dangers of climate change, his encouragement of Israeli settler expansion to make any Palestinian state impossible. They all point in one direction - trade wars, regional wars and finally an inter-imperialist war of incalculable destructiveness.
Protests against him should redouble with every one of his reactionary announcements. We have to do so globally without hesitation, but at the same time we need to expose the hypocrisy of the US Democrats, Germany's Angela Merkel or François Hollande, who want to present the European Union themselves as the “democratic” imperialist alternative to Trump.
His presence at the G20 in Hamburg in July, as well as that of other reactionary leaders, must be a cause for continent-wide protests, a veritable siege of the conference centres. Likewise his state visit to London can and must see millions on the streets. Trump is an outspoken supporter of Brexit and warm friend of reactionary populists like Ukip’s Nigel Farage. In Britain the growing mass opposition to Brexit and the defence of migrant workers and refugees immediately link it to the movement in the USA.
This link will help and encourage the mass resistance in the USA’s to his attacks on the health and welfare systems of working people, on public sector employment, the immigrant communities, the black, latinx and indigenous communities. Together we can cut short his reactionary presidency. As the demonstrators in New York chanted
Say Hey! Say Ho! Donald Trump has got to go!
The sooner the better for the people of the world.