Declan Welsh performed alongside Emme Woods at the Trump Rally in George Square on Friday 13 July 2018. He shares his thoughts about Trump, the rally, and why inaction isn’t an option.
On Friday I was asked by the Scottish Trades Union Congress to speak at the rally protesting Donald Trump. I performed my poem Lads, in reference to the President’s “locker room talk” defence.
I was delighted with the turnout, and in response to those who say “where were ye during Obama’s drone strikes” or “what about May and her aggressive immigration policies”. Aye. I totally agree. But know what isn’t gonna solve anything? Inaction. If there’s one good thing about Trump, it’s that he is the ugly, brazen face of this system. He shows it for what it is. Obama, May and others were (to varying degrees) slightly more palatable versions of it, but immigrants were still treated as sub human, and bombs still fell on the world’s poor.
There are, however, things unique to Trump as a figure. The way he speaks about women, immigrants, foreigners, and multiple other myriad issues has shifted discourse to a point where now, fascists are no longer scared. They feel like they are winning. And in many ways, they are. This is why it matters to turn up to these things. It is not your only responsibility, but it is one of many. If we come out in force, we begin to create our own movement. In solidarity with immigrants, with victims of sexual assault, with those affected by American imperialism, with African Americans, with environmentalists. We can use Trump, and his odious, toxic, caricature of an existence to rally against. First, we defeat the man, then we defeat the system.
So, aye, me saying a poem to a big crowd of socialists isn’t gonna change the world. But that big crowd of socialists might. And I, for one, want to be a part of that.
You can watch the video of Declan performing Lads here.