Divisive actions of US President spark global protests

Thousands have taken to the streets in protest during the first two weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency. Demonstrations have taken place in towns and cities across the globe, including several here in Scotland.

From the campaign group Bridges Not Walls coordinating banner drops from bridges throughout the UK, to the enormous women’s marches in solidarity with the record breaking Women’s March on Washington, to the most recent emergency demonstrations in response to the ‘Muslim ban,’ campaigners have made their voices heard on a monumental scale.

The first two weeks of Trump’s presidency have held several deeply troubling moments for everyone concerned with human rights, equality, and reason. The Trump Administration has spoken out in favour of certain methods of torture, announced immediate plans to construct the Mexican border wall, taken huge steps in restricting scientific research and reporting, demonised the press, and imposed a travel ban on seven Muslim majority nations. The Global Gag Rule was reinstated, removing essential funding from International NGO’s providing vital reproductive care if they provide or discuss abortion; and a number of bills that could further restrict women’s reproductive rights in the US were passed, including the Heartbeat Bill, and the federal Personhood Bill. While these bills are unlikely to become law, the clear presence of anti-choice leaders sets a worrying tone for women’s rights.

The widespread, peaceful protests have been an encouraging sign, demonstrating that more and more people are ready to stand up for human rights issues. On Jan 30th over 7,000 people marched in Edinburgh alone, and demonstrations also took place in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee, and St Andrews. Further demonstrations are now planned for Feb 11th. As well as the protests, campaigners are finding more direct ways to help those negatively affected by these increasingly restrictive policies. After learning of a Glasgow based vet who, along with her partner, was stranded in Costs Rica simply because she was born in Iraq and therefore unable to board a stop-over flight to New York campaigners in Glasgow organised a crowdfunder which raised over £6,000 to help both her, and refugees.

We at Humanist Society Scotland will always endeavour to stand up against bigotry and prejudice. We were proud to have representatives at the Women’s March sister demonstration in Edinburgh, and will continue to use our voice to promote human rights both here in Scotland and beyond.

For more information or comment contact Nicole Skipper on nicole@humanism.scot.


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