On 12 November, an ‘Against Trump, Against Hate’ rally was hosted in Edinburgh in opposition to Donald Trump’s rise to power in the United States, and the violent hate crimes against minority groups that have followed his nomination.
The demonstration was held by the University of Edinburgh’s Amnesty International Society, together with a group of American students, in solidarity with similar rallies that are taking place across the United States and beyond. It attracted a diverse audience of students and community members.
The day commenced outside of St. Giles Cathedral with speeches from co-convener of the Scottish Green Party Maggie Chapman, Dr Meryl Kenny, and students from various university liberation groups.
Following the speeches, supporters began marching down the Royal Mile to the US Consulate General Edinburgh.
The drumming group Rhythms of Resistance led the march, fashioning rhythmic tunes over the frustrated voices of students and other supporters chanting: “Donald Trump shame on you; we deserve our futures too”; “he’s racist, he’s sexist, he doesn’t represent us”; and “love trumps hate”.
Several creative pieces such as a performance from Rhythms of Resistance and spoken word were performed outside the Consulate, to express the peaceful nature of the resistance.
An Amnesty International Edinburgh press release stated: “[the] march aimed to speak out against the racist, xenophobic, homophobic, ableist, anti-Semitic rhetoric surrounding Trump’s campaign.
“It also expressed solidarity with Muslim, immigrant, poor, LGBTQUIA+, Latinx and disabled communities, as well as sexual abuse survivors and people of colour, both in the US and abroad,” the press release elaborated.
The Student asked several students at the event what they hoped the protest would achieve and why they came out to support.
Aamina Khan, one of the event’s speakers, remarked: “We’re here to stand in solidarity with everyone in America who are against Trump. Also, to show that we don’t accept his rhetoric.
“We don’t accept that America is a country which should be fuelled by anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, xenophobic, queerphobic hate, which targets marginalised communities… And we want to also show that his sort of rhetoric, which a lot of white supremacists support, is allowing this sort of rise in fascism, and this hate, which we don’t allow and we don’t want to justify.
“So, we’re acting in solidarity to show that we don’t accept this. We’re here to support our differences, support what makes us unique but also what makes us unified.”
Aamina further stated: “At the end of the day, we’re all still human beings and we all deserve the same respect. We all deserve to be treated equally. So, at the end of the day, this sort of rally aims to show that it’s not acceptable in America what Trump is doing, and it’s not going to be accepted here in Britain, or Scotland. We’re not going to allow this either. We want to make sure that Trump knows, across the globe, that this is wrong, that we’re going to fight against that.”
Edinburgh University Students’ Association Former Vice President Services, Urte Macikene, who also spoke at the event, remarked to The Student: “I think I’m just here reaching out with support and love to the people around me who I know are going to be made vulnerable by this. It’s a time and a space to be together and strategise how to tackle the fight ahead.”
Shelby Mixson, a student from the United States, said: “I’m really hoping to demonstrate solidarity with all the minority communities, with different types of people that feel isolated and feel afraid because of this election.
“I want ultimately, as a woman for my voice to be heard. I want our voices to be heard. I want people to realize that this is not ok, his rhetoric is not ok. Even across the globe, the global implications of what his election means, I want people to realize that and hear that.”
Lilian Slawsu, a German student also spoke to The Student, remarking: “I did not believe it when I heard that Trump is President. I was really frustrated, because it makes me really afraid. This influences Europe too. We have an election next year and I’m really afraid that the populist right wing parties will actually gain power in Germany as well. Having a sexist, racist, man as the most powerful man in the world, is just really frightening.
“So, I came here to express my opinion that I think we should unify now and stand with the people being oppressed and show our support, to show them that were are people in the world who care about what is happening to them right now.”