My 350 on Donald Trump: going backwards

We will state in solidarity that if Mr. Trump attempts to build his wall, we the people promise to be on site and do everything in our power to prevent such an event.

Anthony Sayegh
19 November 2016

On 9 November 2016, to the astonishment of many Americans and citizens around the world, Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States; the man who vows to “make America great again” through his (and his apostle’s) abhorrence for undocumented immigrants, and the reversal of our progress towards addressing climate change, among other rhetoric.

The overall disappointment cannot be summed up within any brief statement. But there are universal problems regarding his ambitions that any reasonably thinking individual can observe.

Twenty-seven years ago on 9 November 1989, a nation of patriots, having struggled with the division of its citizens for nearly a half of a century prior, tore down the very infrastructure that symbolized and upheld division rather than unity, the Berlin Wall.

The first 100-day plan of Mr. Trump’s Presidency states what he and his wave of supporters have been calling for all along: a wall along the US southern border dividing us from our neighbor Mexico. In addition, his proposition calls for Mexico to reimburse the US for infrastructural costs.

Here we are, blatantly moving towards history repeating itself. It would be in the utmost dishonor to those who have worked and died for humanity, to allow for such tangible symbolism to occur again. It is here, and now: we will state in solidarity that if Mr. Trump attempts to build his wall, we the people promise to be on site and do everything in our power to prevent such an event.

The very little progress that has been made on behalf of the United States towards climate change, is at risk with a Trump Presidency, combined with a Republican Senate and House majority.

The opposition is called upon to be stronger than ever. We must maintain respectful dialogue at the community level and educate each other on the topic. As the late Christopher Hitchens once said, “Whether global warming is caused by the hand of humans or not, is irrelevant. We should be acting as if it were simply because we have nowhere else to go.”

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals

To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.

By adding my name to this campaign, I authorise openDemocracy and Foxglove to keep me updated about their important work.

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