For the Trump Protest

trumpTo see the other side of the article “Against the Trump Protest” click here.

Protests are a space of commutative political and social action; a collective appeal to fight perceived injustices and societal frustrations; a call to those in power to be listened to and considered in national and wider global decisions and policy. Public opinion is vital to government, and how better to capture it than with a crowd gathered to unite and learn from each other, to form and express their perception of justice and truth with zeal and creativity.

In recent news, we have seen how the effects of public outrage can reach even those in the highest of office; namely, Donald Trump, The Leader of the Free World. Public outrage spread from international news stories, opinions and photos shared on social media which collectively criticised how Trump’s Zero-Tolerance Immigration policy had resulted in the separation of 2000 children from their parents at the American-Mexico border. Trump was forced to retrace his relentless and unforgiving pursuits in order to calm global concern and re-balance public opinion in his favour. The same action of giving in to public hysteria occurred straight after his summit with Putin in Helsinki on Monday. He back-tracked his narrative, specifically saying that he had ‘misspoken’ and had ‘full faith’ in US intelligent agencies, when previously having rejected their inquiry into Russian intervention in the US elections. Public outrage expressed whether in the physical masses of people out on the streets, or on the platforms of social media are both forms of protest done by the people, and we see here the power and influence it has on Trump himself.

trump5One could say that protest online through news articles and social media comments are the strongest ways of connecting to political leaders in our generation. What is captured in the news nowadays is seen by millions every second. Therefore, what is published and shared is the biggest determiner of public opinion. In Trumps era of “Fake News”, which acts to control and shut down public opinion that opposes him, we must not let Trump dominate the headlines with his egregious and fickle opinion. We need a sense of solidarity, mutual-understanding and concern to come through on the news narrative that outlines our daily lives. This was done on Friday the 13th of July, with the news coverage of mass protests across Britain that welcomed Trump who claimed that the British people did indeed like him very much. The news reflected the reality that people are disgusted and furious at his arrival – vividly exposing his untruth to the world. The British people had the opportunity to express their real feelings towards Trump, which politicians and those in power could not do at the time as their hands were diplomatically tied with the prospect of the American-British Brexit deal. If the politicians cannot express the voice of the people due to diplomacy, it must be done by the people themselves, so that public opinion is present and visible on the democratic political landscape.

In conclusion, in times of political turmoil, unrest and the blurring of real public opinion, I do not believe that passivity is the right response. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan defended the demonstrations that passed on Friday as the right to the freedom of speech. I agree: when Trump has the power to ruthlessly assert his opinions publically, so should we have the same power to refute and question them.

-Bethany Tallulah Howard, Politics Editor


To see the other side of the article “Against the Trump Protest” click here.

The views expressed are that of the author and not those of the G.U.U.

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