July 23, 2019

Too many red lines have been crossed. We need a united platform against racism and bigotry.

A statement by Stop Trump

The United States is experiencing its worst political crisis since the Second World War. In modern times, we have not witnessed a US president so blatantly employing racism to maintain his power, or so explicitly fostering social division. The vicious, dangerous, targeting of four US Congresswoman of colour is the latest ‘red line’ Donald Trump has crossed.

As the US approaches the next presidential election, we expect Trump to increase his racist rhetoric and policies. We expect more divisiveness, and a further crack down on human rights. We expect the concentration camps holding migrants to expand and become more and more normalised. We expect Trump to continue privileging the wealth and power of big business, while ripping up environmental protections we so desperately need to fight climate change. The slide to fascism is well underway. And yet we have seen very clearly that representatives of the Republican Party will not dissent from Trump’s direction as long as he continues to cement his power.

Here in Britain, we are about to witness the accession of Boris Johnson to power. The explicit way in which Johnson has expressed racism and bigotry is unprecedented for a modern British prime minister. So is his failure to rule out a constitutional coup – the dismissal of parliament to carry out the most far-reaching of programmes. We know that Johnson seeks the closest possible relationship with Trump, including signing a trade deal which threatens our public services, our food standards and our ability to build a fairer society.

Like Trump, Johnson appears to have few constraints or limits on what he will do to achieve and maintain power. We simply don’t know what actions or rhetoric he would consider ‘too much’. He has already used tricks straight out of Trump’s playbook to achieve his current position – dog-whistle rhetoric and attacks on any checks and balances on his power.

To date, we have not built an effective opposition to these dangerous politics. Opposition parties have not proven able to stop the slide into hate. Large civil society organisations have been too silent on the threats facing us.

We must redress this now. We need a long-term project to support each other’s ability to speak out and to create space to defeat the politics of hate and division. There can be no going back to ‘business as usual’. We need a radical project to change minds, to mobilise our supporters and to put politicians, including the new prime minister, on notice that we will not tolerate the crossing of more red lines.

No organisation or individual is capable of turning this situation around. Today we commit to working together to generate the resources, the energy and the will to halt the lurch into fascism and build a resilient, fair and democratic society. It’s down to us to create unity, justice, hope and a vision of a fair and equal world.