We awoke this morning deluged with news of the inauguration, impossible to avoid and perhaps even harder to comprehend. For many of us, a feeling of nausea mounting since November has given way this morning to full-blown morning sickness, but without any bundle of joy at the end of it. As I grapple to deal with the impending apocalypse, I try to remind myself of my dear friend and IntLawGrrl Beth Van Schaack’s framing — that this is day one of the resistance, not the apocalypse.
Here at IntLawGrrls we will begin this resistance by bringing you thoughts and images from women protesting the inauguration of he-who-shall-not-be-named, both today and tomorrow at the Women’s March on DC and around the country, and hopefully around the world. In contrast to the joyful posts surrounding the 2008 US Presidential election, this is a dark dawn, but one that we will not take sitting down.
I am reminded this morning of an NY Times op-ed, from December, by Australian doctor Lisa Pryor, Dear America, Why Did You Let Us Down? Pryor laments the loss of America’s “poetry of democracy that was grand and uplifting.” I want to say to her and others around the world who mourn that loss that this beautiful, diverse, and democratic America is still here. Indeed, most Americans voted for Hillary Clinton. And from the inside, America has never looked like a shining picture of democracy, but rather a place of ongoing contestation and struggle to promote ideals of equality and justice. Those of us who believe dearly in those ideals are still here, and we will fight, day in and day out, to protect that beautiful dream.
In Philadelphia alone, I know of three inauguration events today focused on immigration: a panel discussion at Temple University on sanctuary campuses; an open house at Puentes de Salud, an organization providing health care for immigrants, at which lawyers from Friends of Farmworkers will be available to answer questions relating to immigration status; and a protest at the Liberty Bell, the birthplace of our democracy, organized by the New Sanctuary Movement and other immigrant community groups. This is just a small snapshot of the beginning of the resistance.
What does that mean for our international sisters? We ask you to raise your voices with ours, and stand in solidarity with us. It’s a bleak forecast in terms of state-based international law for the next four years. Many of us in the United States are turning to municipalities and local governments to uphold fundamental rights, and we will seek transnational connections at the substate level. You can leverage international law on our behalf, making arguments based on law, policy, and deeper morality about the actions and stances of the new administration. I still remember how heartening it was to see the number of Iraq war protests around the world as we marched in New York City in 2003. Most importantly of all, don’t give up hope for the future of America. We haven’t, and we are counting on your support to get us through the next four years to a brighter dawn.