Speech by Anti-War Committee member Meredith Aby-Keirstead at the Trump Out Now protest on June 1, 2017. The protest was organized by the Resist from Day 1 Coalition which the AWC is a part of.
The Anti-War Committee stands with all of you today to join in the demand that Trump must go! In the three plus months of his presidency we have seen an increase in hate crimes, an increase in US military intervention, and the use of a new weapon of mass destruction.
Last weekend a white supremacist was harassing two African American women – one of whom was wearing a hijab – with racist and religious insults in Portland, OR and when allies challenged him he stabbed 3 people and 2 of them died. Hate crimes like these are increasing across the country as a direct result of the president’s anti-Muslim rhetoric which paints our Muslim neighbors as “terrorists”. His rhetoric has also inspired actions like the national day of action against Muslims called “March Against Sharia” on June 10th. Racists are inspired to voice their bigotry because it is echoed back to them from the White House. We need to protest on June 10th at the state capitol and to continue to challenge the racist Muslim ban and other policies that attack Muslims.
Since becoming president, Trump has also increased the role of the US military in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia. Despite campaigning as an isolationist his hawkish foreign policy is escalating conflicts and costing lives. In Syria, he has escalated the war against ISIS and ordered US warships to attack with 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian government airbase. In Iraq, Trump brags the US is “fighting like never before” which is true – the US killed over 200 civilians in Mosul in March. In Afghanistan, the president used the largest non-nuclear bomb ever and is now considering sending in an additional 3 to 5,000 US troops. And he has flirted with the idea of preemptively bombing North Korea!
Last week Trump went to Saudi Arabia and signed a major weapons deal with a country is using its military to attack Yemen. Saudi Arabia’s coalition uses constant aerial bombardment to kill and terrorize Yemeni civilians. Around 5,000 civilians have died in the conflict. The U.N. humanitarian chief warned Tuesday that civil war is causing Yemen to spiral toward total collapse with the threat of famine increasing and over 55,000 suspected cholera cases since late April. Trump has declared parts of Yemen and Somalia as war zones which make it easier for the US to launch airstrikes even if civilian deaths are likely. Obama conducted one strike every 5.4 days; Trump has thus far averaged one strike or raid every 1.25 days. In February the Trump administration conducted 25 airstrikes on one day in Yemen alone! Trump has sided with Saudi Arabia and sided with murder and starvation.
At the same time as Trump has escalated these wars he has tried to close the US to people fleeing his foreign policy in Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan and Libya! We join with you today to say “No Ban, No Bombs, No More!”