Three Friends from Luton Meeting attended the Carnival of Resistance in London on Friday protesting at the visit of Donald Trump to the UK. It was right that we did so. We were struck by the diversity of groups that joined the march. Climate change activists, anti-racists, women’s rights campaigners, political parties, faith groups…
A person that we met and walked with for a time explained that this was her first ever demonstration, but she had been moved to act, encouraged by her daughter, to take part because Trump is terrifyingly wrong on so many fronts. She had deliberately sought out Quakers to be with because they would act peacefully and appropriately on the demo, she said.
On Saturday at the Quaker Meeting House in Harpenden there was an inspiring talk for the United Nations Association by Tobi Wellner from Quaker Peace and Social Witness – about brave and talented activists for social justice, in East Africa, especially in communities in Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and Kenya. Their work, based in non-violence, is difficult and sometimes very dangerous. They operate according to the Seven Principles of the Quaker programme Turning the Tide, three of which are:
- Being willing to take action for justice without giving into or mimicking violence
- Respecting and caring for everyone involved in a conflict, including our opponent
- Believing that everyone is capable of change and no-one has a monopoly of the truth.
British Quakers stand with people in the US who are working to resist the climate chaos and racism of Donald Trump's policies. We need leaders of intergrity, in the US and the UK. #TrumpUKvisit pic.twitter.com/7DlXG6prm0— Earth and Economy (@EarthEconQuaker) July 13, 2018
Tens of thousands of people had come together in London to make a powerful statement to the most powerful person in the world. Many of the slogans on the placards and banners rejected Trump utterly or were personally abusive.
“Build bridges not walls”, and the frequent “Love trumps Hate” if read as much more than a play on the name, were two that might be in tune with the thought that Donald Trump too is capable of change. And that the tide of the world can be turned.
Quaker Colin from Luton Meeting