As I write this, I’m watching a torrent of people form in protest outside JFK airport. Others are assembling just as quickly at LAX, Dulles, Atlanta, BOC, SFO, O’Hare, Philadelphia, Detroit, Denver, Newark, Seattle, and more. The NY Taxi Workers Alliance has just released a statement announcing they’re boycotting pick-ups from JFK in protest of Trump’s executive order banning Muslim refugees from seven countries. They’re standing in solidarity with refugees “coming to America in search of peace and safety”.
There’re reports of refugees and Green Card holders being detained and handcuffed at airports. Someone was denied an interpreter for 17 hours. Lawyers are claiming that they can’t get access to their clients being held in custody. There are reports out of JFK that “dozens and dozens” are being held there. Immigration lawyers are flocking to airports all across the country. They’re setting up wherever they can, some even on the floor. They’re making signs and holding them up so those who need to can easily identify them.
A mosque was burned down in Texas overnight. There’s a GoFundMe page set up to fund it’s rebuilding. ISIS have said that they plan to capitalise on Trump’s bigoted policies as a means of winning new recruits. Iran has placed a retaliatory ban on US citizens from entering the country—unless they hold a valid Iranian visa. It’s madness. We’re spiralling.
Bill Shorten just tweeted about Australia’s “non-discriminatory immigration policy”—a blatant and outrageous untruth. I feel enraged. I feel hopeless. I want to do something, but I don’t know what. I want to cry. I want to scream. I’m frightened.
Some outlets are saying that riot police are due to be deployed to JFK. Governor Cuomo has just ordered the Port Authority to reverse the order to disallow protestors and people heading to the protest at JFK to take the AirTrain. There’s a lot of confusion.
I’m scrolling through Twitter reading the commentary and watching videos and swinging between pride and stomach-churning disgust. As a human, a global citizen, I’m so proud watching these people stand up for what is right. This protest and the rest have all made having to watch a deplorable man perform unimaginably appalling acts somehow endurable.
And not because it’s okay—it will never be okay. I mean bearable in the sense of knowing that there are those who aren’t willing to stand silently by while Trump does such despicable things. It makes me think that there’s still hope—that it’s not all so hellish as it seems.
There are so many parts about all of this, about him, that makes my skin crawl. And it’s not just all of the obvious points. Not just the misogyny or the “pussy-grabbing”. Not just the bigotry. Not just the everything about him. The thing that is equally as terrifying as he is, to me, is the response of everyone to him. Turnbull has refused to dip his toe into anything even vaguely controversial. Theresa May is a disgrace.
We live in a world where politicians no longer serve the people for whom they work. It feels rather like nearly every elected politician—with a few outstanding exceptions—are working more for themselves than any of us. It is a politicians job to represent us—not to dictate to us how we should feel or what we should do about it.
He is a liar. Trump has lied over and over again, so many lies we’re already losing count, and it’s barely even been a week. People are raging, and rightfully so, but it’s not enough. It is the responsibility of global news organisations, leaders worldwide, and citizens of the world, to make sure the hatred that people like Trump inspire is not allowed to be the new normal. He and the people who misguidedly follow and support him do not represent me. They repulse me. And I hope he and they do you, too.
I hope beyond hope that we’ll all be okay. And I hope that if you’re not—that if you feel in need of help or care or compassion or understanding—you know that those of us who do care and want to help, are here. We’re here, right beside you, and we will help. We, like the hundreds of thousands of people who descended on Washington last week or the thousands of people who have come out tonight, will fight them—the deplorables. We will stand next to you, and stand up to them.
Just now as I finish up, news has filtered through on my feed that the Federal Court for the Eastern District of New York has issued an emergency stay on Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban’. It’s a nation-wide temporary stay. It comes as a result of a filing by the ACLU on behalf of Hameed Khalid Darweesh and Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi, who were detained indefinitely after landing at JFK and denied entry to the United States. They were both released. They’re going home to their families tonight.
I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I’ve felt every morning this week an overwhelming sense of dread. With each new day, something seemingly worse still emerges, and it is utterly terrifying.
I’m not in America nor am I one, but I am fortunate to have many in my life for whom I care deeply. I know how much they love America. American patriotism is something to behold. I hope for them—and for you and for us all—that America finds itself in safe and loving hands. That the capable hands of those who know better will prevail, and that they can pry themselves free from the grip of a hateful, unbalanced, dangerous, egomaniacal fraud who will not succeed in dividing them, or us, from each other.