OPINION: Why Trump Is Bad For The Planet And Therefore Bad For Rock Music
Louise Brown has previously edited metal magazines Terrorizer and Iron Fist, she is now Friends Of The Earth’s Supporter Care Coordinator, and has a few things to say regarding President Trump’s visit to the UK tomorrow:
Friday 13th? Unlucky for some! You may have heard that this Friday a visitor is coming to London, and we’re not talking about Jason Voorhees.
Tomorrow, President Trump lands in the UK for a “working visit” and London is planning the bigliest show of resistance with 50,000 protestors expecting to descend on Trafalgar and Parliament Square to let him know he is not welcome.
Whether you’re gonna Bring The Noise like an Anthrax/Public Enemy jam at The Women’s March, or dress as a zombie at Amnesty International’s ‘A Nightmare On Any Street’ party, or joining environmental organisation Friends of the Earth at the Together Against Trump Climate Bloc, we’ll be raising a fist of solidarity, standing together with those who want equality, peace, a safe and clean planet and those who are fighting discrimination.
The heavy metal and punk community has a long history of making our voices heard, and already Municipal Waste, Power Trip, Axl Rose, Corey Taylor, Fred Durst and Trent Reznor have been outspoken about the President’s record on immigration, equality, the environment and gun control. There is even a campaign to get Green Day’s “American Idiot” to number 1 on the UK singles charts. But why are people marching on Friday?
With no planet, there would be no where for our favourite bands to play, right? That may seem flippantly simple, but with festivals like Download banning single-use plastic and bands like Gojira urging us to Make Earth Great Again, Trump’s climate-damning policies are reversing the Green revolution. Trump has said he will pull out of the Paris Agreement, taken steps to cut back the US environmental protection, and even said global warming is a hoax invented by the Chinese!
The growing impacts of climate change are extremely serious and require urgent action. Yet the person at the helm of the world’s largest economy is ignoring the science. Of course, he is supported by industries that exploit coal, oil and gas – fuels we need to keep in the ground if we want to be on target for saving our planet. The US is the world’s second largest CO2 polluter and wants to ignore rising global temperatures, and the extreme weather and sea rises that come with it.
FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT
Trump and his administration have increased the oppression of many people and communities. His immigration policies such as the Muslim Ban and the recent detainment of children at the Mexico border are two horrific examples. They have created chaos, torn families apart and stoked fear and hatred.
Let’s not even talk about his predilection for grabbing women by their you-know-what, a vile and disgusting attitude from anyone, let alone a world leader. But his administration also cut US foreign aid that affects millions of women and girls globally. These restrictions threatened funds for contraception, abortion, safe motherhood, and treatment of diseases such as HIV, Zika and Ebola.
The heavy metal community is a global community and we cannot stand by while such racist and divisive policies are being carried out in one of the largest and most powerful countries.
Environmental and human rights issues are fundamentally linked to issues of race and of social justice. On top of the daily oppression they face, marginalised and indigenous communities are the first to feel the effects of Trump’s policies. Remember what he did for the communities protecting Standing Rock? We must be honest that climate injustice and environmental racism are part and parcel of how racial injustice affects the lives of so many people. Working for the empowerment and equality of all oppressed communities, women and non-binary genders, disabled people, the LGBT community, people of colour, indigenous people, people of all faiths, classes, ages and levels of education, is the only way to achieve an environmentally and socially sustainable world.
BUT WHY PROTEST?
This is not a time to be complacent and when Mr President lands in the UK tomorrow we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to let his administration and our own government know that we do not agree with his policies and politics. Lawful and peaceful protests are a way of showing opposition or resistance on a large scale, it’s also a chance to be inspired, meet new people and have fun together. Check out environmental organisation Friends of the Earth’s helpful top protest tips if you’re thinking about attending a march for the first time. They even produced a Free Action Pack with placard ideas to download.
And if you’re not able to get to London, don’t stress. There may be an anti-Trump demonstration taking place in your area you could attend. See here for a list of solidarity actions taking place across the country.
If you’re on social media you can share images of handwritten signs voicing your support – remember to use the hashtags #TogetherAgainstTrump and #StopTrump
You can even get together to create a protest party using the Songs To Fuel The Revolution playlist we put together (above). Get creative using the Free Trump Action Pack for inspiration. It’s a great opportunity to open up a conversation about why it’s important to stand up to Trump and stand up for people and planet.
Words: Louise Brown