Anti-Trump protests organiser: “This has to be the start of an international movement”


Organiser of protests against Trump visits calls for Scots to take part in an international movement against the rise of the right

JONATHON SHAFI, an organiser of protests at US President Donald Trump’s Scottish properties when he visited the country during his campaign, has said that an international movement against the new right is now “urgent”.

Protest movements would be necessary but not sufficient to defeat the right, said the Radical Independence Campaign co-founder, who is also speaking at a Glasgow rally today (Friday 20 January) against Trump’s inauguration.

2016 saw the rise of, and growing co-operation between, far right movements, parties and figures, including Trump in the US, a right-led Brexit movement in the UK and the French Front Nationale.

Speaking to CommonSpace ahead of the Scottish protests, Shafi said: “The concept of an international left has to be realised, it must not remain at the level of an abstract idea. This is now urgent.

Scotland’s Women to march against Trump across Scotland’s cities

“This is because there is now an identifiable international right. An international movement for political and social reaction, made up of authoritarian nationalist and radical conservative movements.”

“It has a very simple, very clear strategy for how it is going to win, in the immediate term.”

Shafi said that the protests which will be taking place around the world needed to see a new international political force to combat the right, that went far beyond protest and resistance and provided and ideological alternative.

He said: “I’m in favour of a ‘movement of movements’. We need an anti-racist movement, a feminist movement, and LGBT community movement, against Trump.

Campaigner and organiser Jonathon Shafi

“But it needs to be bound together, and united behind a social and political alternative to Trump and Trumpism.”

He also said that so called ‘alt-right’ thinkers like Trump strategist Steve Bannon were probably correct in envisaging a growing struggle for political influence between radicalised political opposites.

“I agree with Steve Bannon on this one thing; effectively we are moving towards a polarisation between radical right and radical left,” he said.

List of anti-Trump inauguration protests across Scotland 

The 2008 financial crash had been a world historic turning point, and there was no return to the period before it, he argued.

“Liberalism doesn’t have any answers and all it will be able to contribute at this point is being part of a movement against Trump. We aren’t going back to the period in the 1990’s and 2000’s, when centrist political forces were in power.”

Pinar Aksu, a human rights activist who is one of the organisers of the anti-Trump rally at Glasgow’s Buchannan street steps told CommonSpace: “We are living in scary times at the moment. It’s very worrying that Theresa May seems to be liking to build a close relationship with Trump – a person who is racist, sexist, homophobic and only cares about the rich.

“We need to show the importance of unity amongst diverse communities to say no to racism.”

Trump has denied claims he is dangerous and said he will “make America great again”.

Picture courtesy of Scott Lum, Facebook

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