My 12 year old brother called me the day after the election.
“Am I safe now?” he asked. I didn’t know what to say.
I am a Muslim Arab Syrian woman. I have felt under attack for more than half of my life now based on US policies that have particularly pushed forward Islamophobia to further entrench the War on Terror that has brutalized Muslims at home and abroad.
Yet with Trump’s win, things have suddenly become a lot scarier as it has confirmed that racism, bigotry, misogyny, and militarism were not only accepted in the United States but very much still openly celebrated. There have been countless stories of Muslim women getting their headscarves ripped off, of swastikas being painted on buildings, of Confederate flags being waved, of children being taunted that their parents are going to be deported. This is not simply business as usual when Trump ran and won based on a white nationalist platform and as he appoints right wing white supremacists to head his staff.
Now is an urgent time and we must recommit to collective liberation and building a world free of all oppression.
As a board member of the Washington Peace Center, I was so proud when our co-directors Darakshan and Día decided to hold an emergency space last Wednesday to give people an opportunity to process the results together and begin strategizing on next steps and community safety plans. Since then, the requests are pouring in for organizing resources, support for actions (i.e. equipment for protests) and a space to strategically collaborate in new ways.
Here are the very concrete examples of how the Peace Center strengthens the impact of peace and justice movements.
- We have been asked to co-host self-defense workshops
- Facilitate a space where we can process the impacts of this election through a transnational lens
- Coordinate a rapid response network to the escalating presence of White supremacist/nationalist groups
Building up our local activism is an immediate way we must react to Trump’s election. Local organizing is what is going to be needed now to protect and protest. Being in DC though means we are in a unique position to also have an impact on a national and global level. We must ready ourselves for the upcoming fight to make sure not only that Trump’s various proposed policies are never implemented but that we are organized take on all U.S. state violence so that no child feels unsafe.
Board Member, Washington Peace Center
P.S. You can also help us by forwarding this email to five of your friends and explaining to them why you support the Peace Center in order for us to build our base as more people are becoming aware of the need to do this organizing work.