Wednesday, April 24, 2024

EDITORIAL: The people against President Trump

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We are transferring power from Washington DC, and giving it back to you, the people. – US President Donald Trump at his inauguration on January 20.

A WEEK AGO, people across the United States responded to President Trump’s statement by showing their determination to stand up and be counted.

It was supposed to be only a Women’s March on Washington, but by the end of the day it had become a momentous event, which took even the organisers by surprise. The world became involved, with an estimated five million women – and men and children – around the world participating in peaceful companion protests. They sent an unmistakable message of dissent against the Trump administration.

The incoming president had laid the foundation for the protests. During the presidential campaign he was offensive and divisive as a candidate. As a president he is already showing that he finds comfort with those on the far right and is not one to make amends and build friendships. He is prepared to get involved in squabbles over petty issues and his aides are now sugar-coating untruths as alternative facts. Unfortunately, this approach will still be admired and even copied by other politicians and aspiring leaders worldwide.

It is evident that people are concerned about this new leader in the White House – the man in control of the destiny of so many people and so many things.

Well, the people answered his urging not to cede power to the elites in Washington DC, the state capitals or wherever else.

Thankfully, those who joined the march – whether in the cities of New York, Chicago, London, or Amsterdam, or in various parts of South Africa or Australia or wherever else – showed what’s possible with people power.

Of critical importance now is what’s next for this movement, which attracted moderates and radicals; rich and poor; Christian, Muslim and Jew; and a rainbow of colours – from black to white to brown. In bringing together people, in particular those from outside the mainstream establishment, to highlight legitimate concerns, the gatherings have set the stage for what could certainly mushroom into a legitimate grass roots movement, especially given the growing opposition to the political class in many countries across the world.

That there was no march in Barbados does not mean the protests bore no significance for us and should therefore be looked upon as a mere one-day wonder. In fact, it could provide the impetus for Barbadians in peaceful ways to put the spotlight on issues that impact them, and thereby send a message to the power elites.

Although our concerns may be slightly different, there are many and can cause our women – and men, indeed – to march.

Our politicians, regardless of party affiliation, should take note of last Saturday’s events. One message should be abundantly clear to them: don’t ignore the people.

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