Not a week has passed since the U.S. presidential inauguration and already President Trump has signed executive orders which threaten the lives of millions. From cutting funding for reproductive health initiatives to increased pressure on sanctuary cities, to approving a border wall and banning refugees, Trump's attacks are giving rise to a new era of resistance across the U.S.
The Inauguration of the Resistance
In the wake of Saturday's Women's March on Washington, one of the largest demonstrations in U.S. history which saw almost 3 million women across the country declare their opposition to the Trump administration, another massive mobilization is taking place.
Earlier this week over 100 Asian American and Pacific Islander organizations released an official declaration of "collective resistance" to the Trump administration, declaring the U.S. president "a direct threat to millions of people's safety and to the health of the planet.
“It is so dangerous for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders — and any other communities of color and marginalized communities — to engage with the Trump administration,” Johanna Puno Hester, national president of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO, said in a press release.
“With an administration full of right-wingers and white supremacists whose statements and track records already have proven to be toxic for the new American majority and the planet as a whole, we need to lean on each other, collaborate and co-conspire in the dark times ahead.”
The statement denounces Trump's racist campaign which was based on the "support of disaffected white voters," and won on the promise of "restoring (their) economic and social standing by deporting millions of immigrants, building a wall, creating a Muslim registry, banning Muslim immigration, and punishing Black dissent."
The statement expresses solidarity with "Southeast Asian refugees organizing to end criminalization and deportation; Muslims, Arabs, Sikhs and South Asians fighting surveillance, profiling, war, and hate violence; women reclaiming their bodies against trafficking, domestic violence, exploitation, and criminalization; low-wage workers standing up against wage theft, poor working conditions, and abusive employers; Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders building a generation to fight against generational poverty caused by loss of sovereignty, militarization of lands and people, forced displacement, and criminalization; and trans, gender-non-conforming, and queer people putting their bodies on the line to demand a different, more humane world."
The statement also targets Trump's choice of allies, including "white nationalists, corporate moguls, religious zealots, climate deniers, hawkish ex-generals, anti-Islam spokespersons." The statement highlights how, "Right-wing extremists now dominate his party, which will control all three branches of the federal government and the majority of state legislatures, and are positioned to jeopardize the future of the Supreme Court for the next generation and beyond. Together this new realignment of forces seeks to turn back the clock on civil rights and environmental protections, to maximize corporate profits by privatizing the public sector, and to create a racially and culturally exclusive America."
The organizations — including labor, student and community groups — emphatically say they will refuse to legitimize or "normalize Mr. Trump’s Administration, which has already violated the core principles of American democracy. We will reject ideas, statements and policies that strengthen the incoming administration’s legitimacy, including divide-and-conquer tactics or strategies that position AAPIs as a racial wedge against other communities of color."
Vowing to stand up for the rights of those that will suffer most under the Trump administration, the statement declares solidarity with all groups targeted by Trump's reactionary administration.
"We will center and stand up for Asian American and Pacific Islander, AAPI, community members who are likely to face increased levels of hate violence, targeting and policing," it said. "We will center and uplift the experiences and calls to action of undocumented immigrants, Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim, refugees, women, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex community members. We will also support the organizing and resistance strategies of AAPI groups and our allies closest to the ground in local communities."