It’s May 1st, and in many countries in the world it is also Labour Day, as well as International Workers Day. Labour Day isn’t until the end of the summer here, but there will be many movements honouring May 1st, with demonstrations across the country. If you are interested in participating in any way, there is loads of information available online, nationally and on a local level. There still seems to be a real reluctance to strike in this country, which always surprises me, but there are other ways to raise awareness to a ton of issues that are all over the place, and one of these is to constantly speak up, resist and protect those who cannot protect themselves. The important part is to continue to raise awareness and fight against things that are close to our hearts, while still maintaining an overall view of what is going on here and abroad on a general level, because in the end everything ends up affecting us in some way or another.
I worry, because it has been 100 days that Trump has been in office, and while there have been some small victories, there have been many larger scares, and this is still only the beginning. There seems to be a certain calm in the air, with the country ticking along quietly, which actually worries me. The sense of urgency that we felt back in January appears to have dissipated slightly, leaving a niggling feeling that all is not right, but not as scary as it may have appeared a few months ago. That’s where we are wrong: it IS still just as scary. If we let the grass grow longer again the snakes will be able to hide out and attack whenever we aren’t looking.
The People’s Climate March took place this weekend – because if you deny that climate change exists and that we are rapidly killing the world we live in then you have serious issues (and are part of the problem). On Earth Day, April 22nd we saw the March for Science take place across the country, and on April 15th, tax day, was the Tax March, another attempt to get the president to release his tax returns. I think that’s become a moot point now though, he is not going to release them, and no one is going to prosecute him for unpaid taxes, or even audit him. So, we have to continue to proclaim that the current president is a CRIMINAL, accused of sexual assault, rape, harassment, hiding tax payments and who knows what else. And that he is increasingly unable to govern this country properly. He even admits it all himself, not that that seems to put anyone off. But as usual, those who are the most vulnerable, immigrants, minorities, women etc (basically anyone who isn’t white, male and a US citizen with money) are the ones who will, and who already, suffer. So we really can’t just sit back and hope things won’t get worse.
I do have to admit though that I’ve found myself having to take a bit of a step back in order to take a larger step forward, basically to focus on my pregnancy but also to focus on the larger picture involving our little growing nuclear family. At the same time I have been working on a couple of projects on subjects that are very close to my heart. With April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month, I participated in a Fabulously Feminist Town Hall where a group of wonderful people discussed sexual assault activism during a Trump presidency and its implications. You can find our discussion here, and I would love to see people comment on it and share, as it is such an important topic. The rape culture in this country is so widespread, and has been so normalized that no one seems to really bat an eyelid that someone who was recorded saying that men should “grab them by the pussy” in reference to women is elected president. Not to mention that rape accusation that disappeared suddenly or other stories of assault and harassment. And then those stories where women’s trauma is dismissed with the wave of a judge’s hand, or those stories that don’t even see the light of day, so many of them… I have also been working with Mamazou on raising awareness on sexual abuse and grooming, and creating a safe online place for parents and future parents to talk about their own experiences, their fears, and concerns. Mamazou have also reached out to different charities to help us navigate through this too. So, if you want to join in and help out please don’t hesitate! We can help create safe havens all over the place, where people can speak out, anonymously or not. Even after many years it can still be too hard to talk about something that has happened to you, but we have created a space where this can be done completely anonymously.
I have realized that I have to concentrate on one issue at a time, in order to make a better impact, but this doesn’t mean that I don’t feel outrage about many, many things, as usual. So, on this May 1st, today, I will focus on continuing this work on sexual assault activism, on raising awareness to the plight of immigrants, and on women’s rights in general, amongst everything else. You can check out some of the actions that are going on this May 1st here and participate if you want to make your voice heard and/or become an ally.
In the meantime you can also read all of the immigration stories that I collected last year right here.