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Let’s have these conversations

February 1, 2017

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So the world is a pretty sad place right now. I’ve been *this* close to crying pretty much every day, whether it’s because of another piece of legislation that Trump has pushed through, or an incredible story or protestor fighting back.

With the help of my sweet, talented and smart friend Ashley, I’ve put together this list of Donald Trump’s achievements thus far. It kind of puts this whole shitstorm into perspective:

19th January 2017

▶︎ Trump said that he would cut funding for the DOJ’s Violence Against Women programmes, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Minority Business Development Agency, the Economic Development Administration, the International Trade Administration, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership,the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, the Legal Services Corporation, the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ, the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the DOJ, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Office of Electricity Deliverability and Energy Reliability, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and the Office of Fossil Energy. That’s a lot of cuts to a lot of vital, life-saving organisations.

20th January 2017

▶︎ Trump ordered all regulatory powers of all federal agencies frozen, and ordered the National Parks Service to stop using social media after RTing factual, side by side photos of the crowds for the 2009 and 2017 inaugurations.

▶︎ Roughly 230 protestors were arrested in DC and face unprecedented felony riot charges. Among them were legal observers, journalists, and medics.

▶︎ A member of the International Workers of the World was shot in the stomach at an anti-fascist protest in Seattle. He remains in critical condition.

21st January 2017

▶︎ Trump brought a group of 40 cheerleaders to a meeting with the CIA to cheer for him during a speech that consisted almost entirely of framing himself as the victim of dishonest press.

▶︎ White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer held a press conference largely to attack the press for accurately reporting the size of attendance at the inaugural festivities, saying that the inauguration had the largest audience of any in history, “period”.

22nd January 2017

▶︎ White House advisor Kellyann Conway defended Spicer’s lies as “alternative facts” on national television news.

▶︎ Trump appeared to blow a kiss to FBI Director James Comey during a meeting with the FBI, and then opened his arms in a gesture of strange, paternal affection, before hugging him with a pat on the back.

23rd January 2017

▶︎ Trump reinstated the global gag order, which defunds international organisations that even mention abortion as a medical option.

▶︎ Spicer said that the US will not tolerate China’s expansion onto islands in the South China Sea, essentially threatening war with China.

▶︎ Trump repeated the lie that 3-5 million people voted “illegally” thus costing him the popular vote.

▶︎ It was announced that the man who shot the anti-fascist protester in Seattle was released without charges, despite turning himself in.

24th January 2017

▶︎ Spicer reiterated the lie that 3-5 million people voted “illegally” thus costing Trump the popular vote.

▶︎ Trump tweeted a picture from his personal Twitter account of a photo he says depicts the crowd at his inauguration and will hang in the White House press room. The photo is curiously dated 21st January 2017, the day AFTER the inauguration and the day of the Women’s March, the largest inauguration related protest in history.

▶︎ The EPA was ordered to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press, and to freeze all grants and contracts.

▶︎ The USDA was ordered to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press and to stop publishing any papers or research. All communication with the press would also have to be authorised and vetted by the White House.

▶︎ HR7, a bill that would prohibit federal funding not only to abortion service providers, but to any insurance coverage, including Medicaid, that provides abortion coverage, went to the floor of the House for a vote.

▶︎ Director of the Department of Health and Human Service nominee Tom Price characterised federal guidelines on transgender equality as “absurd.”

▶︎ Trump ordered the resumption of construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline, while the North Dakota state congress considers a bill that would legalise hitting and killing protestors with cars if they are on roadways.

▶︎ It was discovered that police officers had used confiscated cell phones to search the emails and messages of the 230 demonstrators now facing felony riot charges for protesting on the 20th January, including lawyers and journalists whose email accounts contain privileged information of clients and sources.

25th January 2017

▶︎ Trump directed the Department of Homeland Security to begin construction on a wall on the US-Mexico border to, “secure the southern border of the United States through the immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border”.

27th January 2017

▶︎ Trump executes the order: ‘Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States, to keep “radical Islamic terrorists” out of the country.

28th January 2017

▶︎ On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the White House released a statement which failed to mention the six million Jews who perished in the war, and instead signed an executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries.

▶︎ 20,000 refugees from across the world will be immediately affected by this executive order.

29th January 2017

▶︎ Trump sacks Sally Yates as acting Attorney General for refusing to defend his executive order on immigration, replacing her with Dana Boenta for the time-being, before appointing Jeff Sessions for the role, whose political career has been littered with allegations of racism – including being unable to serve as a federal judge because he was deemed ‘too racist‘.

30th January 2017

▶︎ Trump suspended the US refugee admissions program for 120 days, Syrian refugee admissions program indefinitely, and blocked immigrants and visa holders from seven majority countries — Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, and Sudan — from entering the US for 90 days.

▶︎ Trump brings in “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs” orders, meaning that for every new regulation implemented by federal agencies, two existing regulations must be cut to offset the cost.

▶︎ Trump removed the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence from the National Security Council, replacing them with Steve Bannon, who has no government, intelligence, or high-level military experience; his experience is leading a propaganda outlet (Breitbart News) that peddles nationalist and white nationalist viewpoints.

So, sit with friends, eat pizza and talk about the things that are happening in the world right now. Start those conversations, read more articles, share them, write about what’s happening, attend protests, donate money, write angry emails – this is not a time to sit back. It’s not a time to watch our prime minister hold the hand of a racist, sexist, xenophobic bigot and pretend that’s it’s ok. Because it really, really isn’t. And if we stay silent then we are agreeing with all of these things, because sometimes silence can cause more harm than good.

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If there’s anything that I’ve missed or is incorrect, please let me know in the comment box below – and I’d love to hear your thoughts on all of this mess.

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