Photos: This is NOT the Face of America – Resistance to Donald Trump on the Women’s March in New York, Jan. 20, 2018

21.1.18

Some of my photos from the Women's March in New York on January 20, 2018, via Flickr.

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Last month, when I was discussing with Debra Sweet, the national director of the campaigning group the World Can’t Wait, how long to stay in the US on my annual trip to call for the closure of Guantánamo on and around the anniversary of its opening on January 11, we decided that it was worth staying for the Women’s March on January 20. Debra has been coordinating my January visits to the US since 2011, and I had stayed until January 21 last year, and took part in the colossal 500,000-strong march in New York, and we both felt that there was no good reason to miss it this year, as it promised yet again to be an opportunity for millions of women — and men — to tell Donald Trump what they think of him.

Last year, there was a huge outpouring of anger at the arrival in the White House of Trump, who had somehow become president despite his extraordinary unsuitability for the role: his complete lack of political experience, and his very public deficiencies — his rudeness, his vindictiveness, his inability to complete even a simple coherent sentence, his sordid history as a sexual predator, and the groundless illusion of his success as a businessman. This thoroughly unpleasant figure had particularly appalled women because of his “grab ‘em by the p*ssy” comment that had been revealed during the election campaign, but that had somehow failed to derail him.

A year on, the anger against Trump is surely more palpable, and more based on experience, than a year ago. This president is a bitter joke, the dysfunctional head of a dangerously right-wing version of the Republican Party, who governs by tweet, and constantly threatens,and tries to deliver on policies that reveal a profound and troubling racism: his attempted Muslim travel ban, for example, and the marked increase in his assault on the most vulnerable members of US society — the immigrants on whom the US economy depends, but whose presence, as with Brexit and immigrants in the UK, is perceived by self-pitying white people as being the source of their economic woes, rather than the truth: that it is the fault of the neoliberal machinery of political and big business, a world which, fundamentally, Donald Trump is as much a part of as the “elites” for which his supporters have nothing but contempt.

As a man, Trump’s unsuitability for high office has continued to offend women across the US and around the world. This is not to say that philanderers have not been in the White House before — and as the case of Harvey Weinstein has shown us, men in positions of power regularly use that power to prey, sexually, on those they have power over. And yet, as the stories of liaisons with porn stars and secret pay-offs pile up like a carnal car crash around the bloated figure of the president, binge eating junk food like the last days of Elvis, it is impossible not to shake the sense that the distaste the reports of his antics create is of a severity that cannot be ignored.

The cover of the New York Daily News on January 18, 2018 featuring the shocking "Just like my daughter" headline based on Donald Trump's comments to porn star Stormy Daniels, comparing her to his daughter.On the left, for example, is the headline of the New York Daily News on January 18, after In Touch magazine published a frank 2011 interview with Stormy Daniels, one of several porn stars with whom Trump had sex (and then paid $130,000 to keep her quiet), in which, with astonishing creepiness, he compared her to his daughter.

How can this be acceptable?

And the horrors just keep coming. Yesterday morning, after switching on my computer, what hit me first of all in the blizzard of social media was Stormy Daniels’ graphic description of Trump’s genitalia. No wonder he can’t come to the UK, America’s closest ally, because the protests against him would be too embarrassingly huge to brush off, and no wonder women in the US are so appalled that he remains president.

The protest in New York was not quite as huge as last year, but it was still big, noisy, passionate and articulate, with at least a few hundred thousand people marching, and thousands of witty hand-made signs. A few of those are featured in my photos, which I hope you have time to look at, and will share if you like them. I’m also pleased to see that a large number of marches took place in cities and towns across the country, including places with, a year ago, greater support for Trump than cities like New York.

I hope that, after this year’s march, people don’t just go home and forget about the power we have in numbers, as, essentially, happened last year, when we settled into a horrible pattern whereby we waited, every day, for fresh horrors from Trump and his Twitter account.

Nor do I have much faith in the organizers’ most prominent development from last year — of getting women involved in the forthcoming mid-term elections, and working on behalf of the Democrats. I don’t want to dismiss every woman who wants to be a Democratic lawmaker as necessarily compromised, or to belittle those women who want to support them, but the party’s track record is not good. Hillary Clinton lost to Trump not just because she failed to connect significantly enough with voters, with her elitism and her ties to Wall Street and corporate America, and not just because of the racist backlash against Barack Obama, but also because, in eight years, the Democrats under Obama had failed to deliver a compelling narrative about how their time in power had genuinely delivered progress and improvement to the lives of the ordinary working people of America — and with good reason, as the Democrats still, fundamentally, subscribe to the same neoliberal system embraced by the Republicans, an obsessively profit-driven system with little time for the need son human beings (apart from CEOs and shareholders), which i have seen described,with alarming accuracy, as a system that tries to make as many people as possible feel as insecure as possible for as much of the time as possible.

For a proper change, we need to think about how we can organize from the ground up, and to imagine a new kind of politics, of the people, and not of those who tell us they lead us, but whose fine words then turn out to be lies, as they protect the interests of those who pay them, and whose interests are diametrically opposed to the welfare of ordinary hard-working Americans.

To get rid of Trump and the poison he exudes and stands for, along with the rest of poisonous Republicans around him, we need a profound change, more profound than a tick in a box on election day can deliver.

Alse see the album here:

This is NOT the face of America

Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer, film-maker and singer-songwriter (the lead singer and main songwriter for the London-based band The Four Fathers, whose music is available via Bandcamp). He is the co-founder of the Close Guantánamo campaign (and the Donald Trump No! Please Close Guantánamo initiative, launched in January 2017), the co-director of We Stand With Shaker, which called for the release from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison (finally freed on October 30, 2015), and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by the University of Chicago Press in the US, and available from Amazon, including a Kindle edition — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. He is also the co-director (with Polly Nash) of the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (available on DVD here — or here for the US).

To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to Andy’s RSS feed — and he can also be found on Facebook (and here), Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. Also see the six-part definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, and The Complete Guantánamo Files, an ongoing, 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011. Also see the definitive Guantánamo habeas list, the full military commissions list, and the chronological list of all Andy’s articles.

Please also consider joining the Close Guantánamo campaign, and, if you appreciate Andy’s work, feel free to make a donation.

6 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    Here’s my latest article, linking to my photos of the boisterous and angry Women’s March in New York yesterday, reflecting on the sordid reality of Donald Trump’s first year in office: the ongoing revelations of his disgusting predatory sexism, and his racist assault on the most vulnerable people in US society – in particular, the immigrants who actually prop up the whole neoliberal regime, despite the protestations of Trump’s old white supporters. The parallels to Brexit are striking.
    I also assess and address the efforts to link women’s protest to Democratic success in this year’s mid-term elections, cautioning that the Party that failed to win last year, and that lost after eight years of Obama, because, essentially, they failed to persuade voters that they were on the side of the people, will not ride to the people’s rescue this year. What we really need is a new, people-driven, people-centered political movement to do away with the neoliberalism that infects almost the whole of the political mainstream.

  2. Big Women’s Marches against Trump, 2018 | Dear Kitty. Some blog says...

    […] See also here. And here. Photos are here. And here. And here. […]

  3. Tom says...

    Suggestion for a post. Is the fact that Guantanemo continues a sign that many parts of US society continue to decline? Part of that decline is that so many would willingly follow Trump, no matter what he says or does?

    As the govt. shutdown continues, military personnel will be paid thru 1/31. As for civilian employees, many are contractors (regardless of whether it’s military, CIA, State Dept. or someone else). If some or many of the base personnel continue to torture detainees, how ironic is it that they continue to get paid?

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    This whole shutdown is so embarrassing, Tom. It always is. Here in the UK it’s hard to imagine that lawmakers could shut down the entire government budget through conflicts over a vote. No wonder, as Col. Morris Davis regularly points out, Congress is only marginally more popular than syphilis.

  5. Tom says...

    Well said. FYI. Congress has 6 working days until 2/8th to come up with a proper annual budget. Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is convinced that Republican Minority leader Mitch McConnell can be trusted to negotiate in good faith. The Republicans have passed 5 CR’s (continuing resolutions to temporarily fund the govt.). McConnell can just endlessly stall. Then, there’s yet another shutdown, and once again he blames the Democrats.

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Tom. I wouldn’t be able to trust Mitch McConnell on anything, sadly. He is a deeply unpleasant character. And in the meantime, the farce continues, with people around the world unable to understand how lawmakers can bring the entire US government grinding to a halt.

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo, co-director, We Stand With Shaker. Also, singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers) and photographer.
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