Dublin protests against Trump visit


Donald Trump's visit to Ireland is defined, as you might expect, by cynicism. He seems to be here mostly in order to promote his hotel in Doonbeg. This is the hotel that rather famously, despite him being a major climate change denier, perhaps the leading climate change denier, that he has applied for planning permission to build a seawall to protect the hotel against rising sea levels!

Another cynical aspect of the trip is that it's fairly obviously aimed to appeal to Irish American voters and maybe get him some extra votes in 2020. In that context it's very important that there were significant mobilizations in all Irish cities saying the Trump was not welcome and that in terms of the media they could only find a handful of people willing to act the fool down in Doonbeg to welcome Trump and that terrible pint his son poured.

Of course staying in Doonbeg in Clare also has the big advantage that had meant he was nowhere near any of these cities so in theory is pretty safe in being sure he wasn't going to be seen any protesters himself, the hotel being surrounded by police and of course the American security services that are here. Anyway last night in Dublin a few thousand people took the opportunity to take to the streets and say that Trump was not welcome here

The reasons the organizers gave for organizing the march, the reasons to stop Trump were simple enough

He's destroying the planet
He's the world's leading misogynist
He's a racist Islamophobe and apartheid Israel supporter
He's an imperialist war monger
He's a vicious tranphobe
and he represents the 1%.

The Dublin protest at the start saw that rather infamous Trump as a baby balloon brought over from London for the occasion.  Not a huge fan of it,  tends to depoliticise opposition to him and plays into his own game of presenting it simply as being a question of two teams and picking which side you're on rather than  basing opposition on the absolutely terrible politics he holds.

Indeed a problem with the focus on Trump, as terrible as he is is, that he's also much more of a puppet than a puppet master the people behind him that actually made the decisions in the Republican Party are the ones who do the real damage and it's fairly obvious that Trump and his unpopularity will mean that a certain point he will be ditched and the danger is that the sole focus on Trump as a terrible person is liable to then diffuse opposition.

There is also a need to acknowledge that many of Trumps terrible policies were there in weaker forms under the previous administration of Obama. The increasing hostility to migrants for instance and the stepping up of deportations, the creation of ICE all of those things happened under the Obama administration Trump no doubt is worse but at the same time he's part of a trajectory of class rule in the United States that has seen vulnerable groups being targeted. 

Having him in power at the moment with the looming threat of climate change as the 12 years we were given last year become 11, it's obviously a disaster but at the same time it's very hard to see how the Democratic Party would actually do anything that was significantly different, certainly not anything even approaching the scale of massive economic restructuring and collective
decision-making we need.

All of us, all the people on the planet are facing this incredible challenge over the next 11 years if we want to head off climate catastrophe.  Essentially we need to restructure the entire planetary economy. Capitalism is dependent on growth and growth is what's in the process of killing us, we need to shift to a society that doesn't depend on growth and that really means a society that's based on the satisfaction of people's needs and not at all on profits. It's a task for all of us

See also