*This article was originally published in The Runner on March 1, 2017.*
Canadians have made it clear that Trump will not just be on the front cover of American newspapers for the foreseeable future. He’ll be on ours as well.
In the few short weeks of his presidency, Trump has already begun to repeal Obamacare, and has attempted to ban the citizens of seven muslim-majority nations from entering the United States. There have been signs of Trump supporters withdrawing their support on social media, some of whom did not know that Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act were the same thing.
The defiance against Trump and his associates has become a constant part of Canadian society. The CBC recently wrote an article about a Vancouver yoga studio declaring that they were a “Trump-free zone.” Studio staff say that people are free to talk about their feelings on the matter, but should leave direct conversation of Trump-related stories or events outside of the space.
Have some Canadians already admitted defeat? Do they believe that our protests and voices will no longer be heard, or that they are not making an impact? Is it time for us to stop concerning ourselves with what is going on in the United States and focus on our own issues?
The fact is that if we stop talking about it, the Trump government will become normalized, and this is not at all normal. Labeling an entire religious group at terrorists cannot be normal. Showing blatant homophobia, racism, and sexism cannot be normal.
The attention generated by women’s marches across the world means something. It gave women a voice, and it brought them together. People continue to rally against Trump, not because they think that they can change how the system of government works, but because they want their voices to be heard above the chaos.
All kinds of people were brought together at airports across the United States in order to protest what social media has called the “Muslim Ban.” Lawyers volunteered their time just to make sure people already on their way to the United States could not be turned away at the border.
Canadians continuing to protest Trump will not cause any harm, so there is not any need to discourage those who want to continue to express their anger. The situation we find ourselves in is not acceptable, and I will continue to say so until people understand. Political moves that Trump and his affiliates have made are violating basic human rights for those who are trying to come to the United States for a better life. Many American citizens have openly stated that they feel unsafe in the country while he is in office.
You cannot silence the masses. You could not have told them to dry their tears when Trump won the election back in November, and you cannot tell Canadians to keep to themselves if they feel the need to express their dissatisfaction.
Are our voices being heard? Yes. Are we making a difference? Who knows? It doesn’t mean we can’t continue to try.