I’m going on the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday. The London bit. I haven’t got the energy to go to Washington. My political leanings only extend to the end of the M1. I cannot tell you how excited I am about this march. I really am looking forward to it. Properly butterflies in the stomach about it.

A friend asked me why last week. I’ve been thinking about it.

Here are my, mostly incoherent thoughts.

Politics on a large scale is almost impossible for an individual to take part in/influence/access. If you try, and believe me I have, there are always barriers. You can’t speak to him until you’ve spoken to the fifteen people below him in order of age and importance. You can’t meet with them, they’re busy. You can’t talk to him about that, it’s not his area. He’s not your MP so you can’t write to him. You can’t send that petition with that petition, it’s not valid. That is not the correct form. I cannot send you the correct form. And on, and on, and on.

Until you start to try and change the world, you have no idea how many doors will be very politely closed in your face. Politics in the UK is built to work top down, not bottom up.

The only time you really get to make a difference is if you a) get really lucky – and this has happened to me, or b) you become part of something much, much bigger. It’s easy to ignore one person. It’s harder to ignore a thousand.

Normally I campaign on a small scale. A handful of us cluster around the Clock Tower in Leicester, usually on a rainy Friday night or a rainy Saturday lunch time. We compete with the drunks, the fundamental Christians and the bored and curious for what little attention we can get. I’m excited about getting involved in something bigger.

It will be great to show unity with those who are really going to pay the price of Trump’s regime. I can’t do anything except stand up and be counted, to make it known that I’m willing to stand next to and in solidarity with those who will suffer the most. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I think we’ll all suffer, but I’m not going to be subject to his abortion laws or his lax interpretation of what consent means, but I feel for those who are.

What was one march in Washington is now, according to the women’s march website 386 marches across the globe with an estimated total of 735,000 marchers joining in protest. I want to be one of those 735,000. I am going to be one of them. So are lots of people I know. So many people I know who don’t usually do this kind of thing are either going or want to go, or going to different events. It’s already uniting people. It’s already a good thing.

Marching might seem futile, but it can actually create the space for change, because if there’s two things politicians aren’t keen on, it’s bad media reporting and mobs. Mobs you see, can get unruly and we are not that far away from the French revolution that people in power don’t start to get twitchy.

It also gives you something to do with your feelings. If you start to think about politics for any length of time, no matter what your colour on the political spectrum, it’s very easy to get aerated about the state of the world, and even easier to get frustrated. You can sign petitions, write letters, go to meetings etc, and all of these things are valid and have their uses, but sometimes, when something is really huge and overwhelming, something physical to do really does help. We talk about standing up for our beliefs. Well sometimes we need to stand up for them, and sometimes we need to walk them about a bit.

I’m not an American citizen, and yet Trump is already influencing the face of global politics. His face is on every newspaper, every television screen, every media outlet. It’s no good ignoring him and hoping he’ll go away. He doesn’t work like that. It strikes me that nobody has ever said no to Donald in his life, and that’s what he needs. He needs someone to say no, except that he has grown so huge, so egotistical that it’s not just one voice that’s needed anymore, it’s thousands of voices saying the same thing over and over again. That’s what I’m hoping this march will do, what my voice will do. It will join with all the other marches and all the other voices and it will say NO.

I cannot wait to say NO to Donald Trump.


26 responses to “NO DONALD

  1. I’m going too Katy. Maybe I will see you there.

  2. Did you know there is a rally on the 4th February to say Let us have a say on the terms of Article 50? It is outside 10 Downing Street. Maybe we all should start saying NO to May as well. Oh and there is an actual March against the triggering of Article 50 on the 24th of March – say no to Brexit. Ah sit back and wait for the howls of “where is democracy” Bwah ha ha ha

    • I shall have to try and get to at least one of those. 4th Feb is tricky as it’s my mum’s birthday on the 5th and my dad’s on the 8th so it’s a busy time of year for me, but March sounds much more doable.

  3. I’m going too! And I’m bringing 8 family members. (Imagine if every one of the 700,000+ marchers brought a few others with them…!)
    One family member asked what this would really accomplish, and he thought maybe it would just be cathartic. These days, that could be enough, I suppose, but I agree with you that this is a way to make politicians – well, actually everybody – take note of what is unacceptable: misogyny, bigotry, racism, sexism, ignorance, crassness — and all of it goes under the name of Trump. So yes, I will be saying NO to trump on Friday at a local banner drop, and on Saturday in London with a few thousand or so like-minded people. I can’t wait!

  4. Good on you Katy! You have inspired me to look for my nearest march and participate as well.

  5. Yay I’m so glad to hear you’re going, I’ve been wondering if you were! I’m going too, along with a group of friends and our children. For many of them it will be the first time they’ve done something like this. It is good to hear your interpretation of why you’re taking part, I feel much the same. It is nice to have something tangible to physically do for once, rather than moaning and whinging and signing petitions. Power to the people!

  6. Congratulations Katie and all others who are marching on Saturday. Unfortunately I will be traveloing back from Amsterdam on Saturday but I will certainly be with you all in spirit! We need to march and protest everything he does…as Sting once sung: Every little step you take (Donald) we’ll be watching you!” I guess he actually loves that as he wants and needs to be watched every day and praised etc. But on this “watch” we will be ‘stalking’ – that may get to him?😱We can but try!

  7. take me with you in your heart – please – as i teach mindfulness on Saturday mornings so cannot join in but i so want to be there too for all the reasons you just said. Trouble is he is such a petulant child that he will just take it as a challenge to stand up to, and refuse to give it credence, but i agree that this helps to make a stand behind those who can do something about him

  8. Have a great time and stay safe. I fear these days protest marches come in for a heavy hand from the authorities, given the slightest opportunity.

  9. Pedantically, I read your title for this post and wished you hadn’t left out the comma – as in you (and we) are saying no to him: ‘No, Donald’. . . And then I thought I quite like its other message of ‘No Donald’ as in, ‘we don’t want a Donald’ too. Great ambiguity.

  10. You go girl, I thought my marching days were over (I think I am probably at least 10 years older than you) but now I’m not so sure… I started to feel last year that maybe being an armchair warrior wasn’t enough, the world seems to be going to hell in a handcart and the least I can do is stand up and be counted as someone who believes in something better. Today my inbox is full of requests to sign/join petitions and protests against Britain leaving the single market apropos of May’s Brexit announcement. I found myself wearily thinking ‘what is the point?’ It’s taken her 7 months of ducking and diving to even come out with this inevitable conclusion and then only after much goading and prodding. Some bastard ate all the cake so we can’t have it or eat it, my money’s on Boris. The simple fact is that she is listening only to a minority of extremists both in parliament and outside it, and they are either obsessed with quitting the EU as comprehensively as possible or getting rid of foreigners. The fact that neither are balanced or reasonable and should not be dictating the policy of any civilised country does not seem to matter.
    I am afraid the only thing that will alter the course of this trajectory we are now set on is tangible consequences that can not be spun or misdirected by any of the interested parties. This isn’t going to happen anytime soon, leavers and remainers are still arguing the toss about every development with little sign of the unity that May refers to, she really should get out more or at least encourage her advisers to try talking to some real people.

    I keep having to remind myself that millions of people just get on with their lives and take only a cursory interest in politics or social injustice, until it affects them directly. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with this, but when so much of our media is morally bankrupt and social media is equally becoming an echo chamber with scant regard for truth, perspective or fairness, the results when they do become engaged can be disastrous. Cue Brexit , Trump and the tory approval ratings. Cue the undermining of the NHS, which is widely supported by the majority of people but you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise. Cue zero hour contracts and the number of benefit claimants (or scroungers as the Daily Mail prefers to call them) who are actually working. I could go on but I think you probably already know plenty of examples.

    So good for you, and all the others who will be standing up for the values that right minded people believe in and saying NO to that overgrown infant that is about to become arguably the most powerful leader in the world (the other contender being that lovely chap Putin) and who represents pretty much everything they don’t.

    • I’m marching for the NHS in March, which seems appropriate. And may well join an anti Brexit march too at some point. It’s all going to hell in a handcart as you so rightly say.

  11. Did you hear the mayor of New York challenging Trump’s agenda?

    Displaced kneecaps prevent me from joining the London march on Saturday.

    As he sits – all puffed-up with self-importance – behind his golden wall, hitting all the wrong buttons – and sending Tweets to a girl called Ivanka without checking first that it is his daughter, Trump terrifies me like no other politician ever has. His retribution on those who defy him or criticise him, one feels, will be cruel and unusual. Please let his reign be short.

    Looking forward to your perspective on Saturday’s march. Love to you all!

  12. I’m so glad you’re going on that march, Kate and, although I physically can’t do it, I’ll definitely be there with you in spirit, because you’re right – the only way we’re going to be able to get Trump to listen, is if enough of us stand – or, in this case, walk – in protest at what he plans to do 😦
    I envy you the chance of being there with so many other people, and hope you get out of it everything you hope for 🙂

  13. Good for you! The march gave me more confidence. I’ve had a breakthrough recently. As a professor, I bring unity to my diverse classrooms. I’ve been angry and upset after the election, but I’ve realized recently that I now have to be an educator in the rest of my life and bring more understanding to the lives I interact with everywhere. Thank you for your post and for marching.

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