The lady doth protest too much?


In the wave of protests following Trump’s inauguration, will an anti-Trump movement really make a difference?

Around 100,000 Londoners protested on 21 January the arrival of President Trump. A week later new demonstrations are planned over his ban against Muslims from seven Middle-Eastern nations entering the States. Over 26,000 people will gather outside Downing Street today in response to Trump’s impending State Visit.

Little looks to be accomplished by protesting, as it has been with large-scale protests in the last 50 years. Trump as President has the legal precedent to deal with foreign affairs as he wishes. And even if he is removed, Mike Pence seems far worse.

Tuition Fees, Stop the War and even the Countryside Alliance – all massive protests in the last decade – saw little success. Now especially, with the rise of the far-right, a liberal enterprise like protesting seems unlikely to have any impact.

Where do we millennials fall in the scheme of things? As many must have witnessed flicking through Twitter or Facebook on 22 January, protesting seems to have become a ‘trend’.

Sharing petitions, pictures, rambling speeches about politics… young people can be seen to make a mockery of what is already a farce. We seem to be too far away from the past to remember, and or not politically engaged at all. It’s not to say that some aren’t invested – there are just too few of us to make an impact.

So, what is the point?

In a sense, it’s tradition. Parents take their children, who then take their own. Stories, such as life during the Miner Strikes, are passed on from generation to generation. By participating in our masses we are reliving a central historical part of democracy. It is a way to remind those in power that some still care.

If young people are going to protest Trump in the next few months, it should not be for likes on a post, but for their own future. Protests shouldn’t be belittled or undermined by social media, they should be empowered. That’s the legacy millennials should help create.