I enjoyed my first protest. It's one more thing crossed off life's bucket list. It was a worthy cause. It was a great opportunity for a photo walk. It was a successful protest, to my mind. Different folks might have different opinions on what counts as a success. You could possibly argue that a protest commonly called Stop Trump failed when Trump arrived. However, in the key areas that I would consider critical when judging whether the protest was a successful or a failure, the protest hit the mark.
Did it capture the imagination of the people? Perhaps as many as 250,000 turned up, so yes. Definitely. Did it make Trump feel unwelcome and force him to steer clear of London? Yes. Did it really piss off the right-wing media and personalities? Yes, fabulously so. Did it bring the worst parts of Trump's policies to the media's attention? Yes. Ultimately, did it change anything in particular? On its own, no. But that's not how protests work, even when they do work.
By this stage, one either understands who and what Trump is, and what direction he is leading the US and the world, or one doesn't. I remain surprised at how many still sit in the 'doesn't' camp. Nevermind. I'll share some of my observations of the protest with you. The crowd was very diverse. Latin Americans, LGBTs, hippies, pro-Palestinians, #metooers, Muslims, political figures and anti-fascists were out in force. But there was an almighty number of ordinary folk there too. Lots of people, many of whom have just one thing of note in common - they despise Trump.
The protest was a good natured affair. Profane, but fun. Feelings were genuine but the modd was genial. In short, it was exactly how a peaceful protest should be and was in stark contrast to the much, much, much smaller pro-Tommy Robinson/Trump rally the following day. Which was nasty, hateful and loaded with prejudice. Again, those in the wrong camp need only to look at the nature of both sides of the argument to see which side they perhaps should be on.
Putin, needless to say, featured on many banners, almost always in the role of puppet master. My thoughts on Russia and the Trump campaign have progressed from suspicious through questions must be asked and on to case to answer. Today, I am fairly convinced that there has almost certainly been some level of collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia. Who dunnit? How deep does it go? Is there kompromat? These are questions that Mueller must be allowed to answer. Regardless, if there is any level of collusion at all, then Trump is guilty of obstruction. There is a traitor in the White House. Whether this can be proven only time will tell. Whether the Republican party - some members of whom may be complicit - allow the investigation to be completed, the same.
I used to read Scott Adams blog, when he provided commentary on Trump's campaign. I stopped on three counts. Firstly, he now prefers to produce rambling videos. Secondly, it became apparent to me that his commentary on Trump amounted to little more than political astrology. Thirdly, he was wrong. I make this claim based on one tweet shortly after the election, proclaiming that in six months it would be really awkward to be anti-Trump. Adams premise was that Trump is a Master Persuader. He would get results and win people over. Or at least, the results would make it difficult to argue against his presidency.
The evidence is in, and it remains awkward to be pro-Trump. The man is utterly toxic. He is Novichok in human form. He's not a deal maker. His speciality, as repeatedly demonstrated, is in reneging on deals. I sincerely hope that Americans see the error of their ways in November. And again, if necessary, in 2020. Because so far, the only unity Trump has produced is in opposition to him. Morally and economically, he is isolating the US and the consequential risks are high.
I mentioned Adams because I want to make my own prediction. It's a much safer prediction than his. In sixty years, once the history books are written, it's going to be really awkward for Trump voters when asked to explain their vote in 2016. I dare say they will use the one tool that Trump has really promoted with success. They'll lie. Because But Hillary! just won't cut it...