7 Things People Outside the U.S. Can Do Instead of Helplessly Sitting By While the World Burns

feature image from Renée Jackson-Harper

The acrid smoke from the fire of Trump’s presidency is wafting across the whole planet. I don’t know about you, but as a Canadian I’ve been doing a lot of flailing around feeling powerless and frustrated, wishing that somebody could sift through the reams of action calls to compile ones that are relevant to me, as a non-American who doesn’t have any local Congresspeople to contact, so I decided to do it myself.

Here are some things people all around the world can do to help douse the abominable orange flame. Please feel absolutely encouraged to share your own links, ideas and information in the comments below!


Boycott

Ali’s last tech column included links to a free app that compiles a list of businesses that support Trump, either ideologically or financially. Many of these businesses have outlets or sell products in other countries, including Wal-Mart, Sears, Winners, and Hudson’s Bay. Don’t want to download an app? Here is the #GrabYourWallet movement’s blacklist of Trump-friendly retailers.


Donate

Use all that money you saved in boycotts for good! Contribute to the cause of organizations that are actively resisting Trump’s reign of terror, and/or who will be directly affected by his platform and policies. All of the following orgs accept international donations:

American Civil Liberties Union
Southern Poverty Law Center
Planned Parenthood
Council on American-Islamic Relations
Americans for Immigrant Justice
NAACP
Black Lives Matter
Transgender Law Center

While you’re donating, consider seeking out ways to donate to marginalized individuals through crowdfunding platforms who are suffering under the Trump administration and who are raising funds for medical expenses, passport fees, travel, childcare, legal fees, bail, housing, transition-related care, or other needs.


Petition

If the heads of state of your country have not yet publicly denounced or taken action to counter Trump’s agenda, you can find or start up initiatives to put pressure on them. For example: here is a petition to prevent Trump from making a State Visit to the UK which is closing in on a million signatures, another from the UK requesting that cooperation with the Trump administration be conditional on human rights, and an open letter that members of the Canadian tech community can sign urging Justin Trudeau to offer temporary residency to those affected by the immigration ban.


Fundraise

Do you know of someone in your country who has been affected by the immigration ban? Start up and/or promote an online fundraising campaign to help them, like this initiative that raised £6000 for a Scottish-Iranian veterinarian stranded overseas.


Rally

After the January 21st Women’s Marches spread worldwide, a friend of mine posted a 7-second video of her tiny community’s tiny march in rural Nova Scotia that went instantly viral, prompting an outpouring of grateful comments from all over the U.S. The lesson here is that solidarity is important, visibility is important, and every voice can make a difference. Here’s a guide to planning your own protest or rally. The next major anti-Trump rally in the U.S. is scheduled for April 15; track down the organizers of the Women’s March nearest to you and find out how you can get involved with the next one. Or find out about other protests and rallies happening near you, make a sign, and show up!

Two people pose for a photo while holding protest signs; one reads "think outside my box" and the other is an invite to a counter-protest dance party

from the Women’s March in Kelowna, B.C. on January 21st


Engage on Social Media

I bet the universe $1000 (in hypothetical galaxy dollars) that each of you has at least one American Facebook friend. And even if you don’t, some of the people who share your posts further probably do. Can’t afford to donate? Already signed a petition? Sharing the links online still helps to spread the word and educate others!


Fight Fascism in Your Own Country

Trump’s political ascendancy could, terrifyingly, have ripple effects around the world unless we stop it, as it gives fuel to fascist movements in other nations. Get involved in local and national politics at home to help ensure the conflagration stops here, and talk to your friends and family about these issues. Remember: Only YOU Can Prevent Orange Fires. Comment below and let us know the details of what actions people can take in your country!


On that note, a special action call to my fellow Canadians: Yes, our very own homegrown Trumpalike is already taking notes here as well. If you think it couldn’t happen here, let me remind you that our last two elections resulted in a majority government with a minority of votes. We need to agitate loudly for electoral reform, as the Trudeau administration promised and are now trying to un-promise. Get involved with Fair Vote Canada, contact your local MPs, and most importantly, spread the word and make noise!

Your turn, international fam: What else can we do?

Chandra McCann lives and works on unceded Syilx territory in British Columbia, Canada, where she helps adults upgrade their literacy skills. She also sometimes writes things of her own, and occasionally even finishes them.

Chandra has written 4 articles for us.

51 Comments

  1. Thank you for this Chandra!

    More UK stuff:

    The Institute of Race Relations provides amazing resources that document the UK’s history of race/racism – buy their books and educate yourself. Their newsletter provides weekly updates about race hate crimes in the UK (and other important info) and are making the important links with Brexit and emboldening of the right wing.

    Echoing Ella above and adding Right to Remain who are doing vital work to change policy for asylum seekers and refugees.

    There are so many amazing grassroots organisations working to make life more bearable for Syrian refugees. You can donate food, money or time to Refugee Kitchen for example.

  2. I really don’t wish to be rude, but this is very much “what other countries in the global north can do” — most of the world won’t be sitting around helplessly, we’ll be trying our best to come up with survival strategies for whatever bullshit Trump comes up with. We have practice at it — Latin Americans still very much remember U.S influences in our dictatorships not too long ago. And we’re far from unique the negative influence the global north can bring to us.

    I also must mention that most strategies are simply inaccessible to the developing world -especially fundraising in the ways mentioned. Petitions only work if you have an actually accountable government — many of us don’t. Boycotts are effective, but the way “choice of purchase” occurs in the developing world is woefully different than in the global north — most of us are struggling to the point we’re not buying, rather than being selective in how we buy.

    I’m mobilizing and talking to people about Trump, of course. Not simply out of solidarity but out of fear of what will happen to my own communities due to his influence. People for the most part have responded well but are also concerned about the state of their own communities. It’s hard not to be bitter when we had a right-wing coup recently (Brazil) and most people in developed countries stayed silent or ignorant, and Obama did nothing. Many other countries (I’m thinking Argentina & Macri) have had neoliberal right-wing presidents elected and there is resistance and mobilizing. We’re not waking up now — it’s just that folks outside Latin America don’t seem to have noticed.

    Again, not attacking you in any way — this is super well written and very effective for people out of my positionality! They’re really great ideas and super excellent at helping people who are energized right now get active and DO something. Thank you! Just wanted (maybe unfairly) to include my perspective.

    • These are very valid and important points – as a Canadian with ties to the UK I was definitely writing form a northern-hemisphere, developed-country point of view and probably could have done more to make that distinction in the post. I really appreciate you adding your perspective to the discussion.

  3. Well, I guess this takes the cake. I’m supposed to invest my money in the well-being of American citizens whose government routinely exploits and violates the rest of the planet? I’m supposed to educate my American friends about their own government for the benefit of other Americans? I’m supposed to show solidarity to Americans, but you can’t even find us on the map – and you don’t really care, either. The idolatry of Hillary Clinton on this website really shows how little you care for the rest of the planet, considering the horrific consequences of her reign as Secretary of State. You don’t want to know. And you don’t care, as long as the politician in question advocates for underprivileged Americans.

    The level of self-involvement routinely displayed by US citizens is so astounding it’s obscene. You’ve only just woken up to the global rise of fascism – I guess it wasn’t so global while you believed yourself to be immune to it. You don’t care about us – but now you expect us to send you money and condolences? Please. We have enough to do just addressing the consequences of US interference in our regimes and resources.

    • Oh my god I am so so sorry I can’t believe I just wrote that I wish I could take it back. Everything you said was completely true/really good points and it just brought up a lot of guilt for me and I’ve been off my psych meds for over a week and I’m losing my mind and wanting to kill myself and I just wanted to take it out on someone anonymously. That was so incredibly despicable of me.
      Thank you for contributing to the conversation, and again, I am so very sorry. I hope you have a wonderful week and a great life.

      • You can comment asking the mods to remove your previous comment or email them directly.

        I hope you’re working with someone who can help you with your meds situation. Don’t kill yourself.

  4. this was written by a canadian? not an american. the purpose of the article was to help people outside the US who are concerned about the impact of the united states on the world at large to feel like they have options for things they can do about it. if those options don’t speak to you, don’t do them.

    (disclaimer: i say none of that to in any way deny that americans and the united states are and have been in many ways total bullshit. you’re right that many of us are self-involved and that the US has done terrible things. your take on the nation at large is totally fair.)

  5. Seriously? You don’t think I have enough shit to deal with in my own country? Now I should get involved with protesting a guy that half of the Americans actually voted for? And there is no way in hell I am supporting Black Lives Matter!

    • Hey Linda, you racist piece of shit- in case you didn’t know, Trump lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes, so half of Americans did NOT vote for him. Why don’t you shut the fuck up and keep your ignorant comments to yourself?

  6. Please take note there’s a refugee crisis going on and it’s happening in Europe. Thousands of refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Libya are currently stuck in Serbia because countries in Europe as Hungary are keeping their borders closed. Asylum seekers are living in dehumanizing conditions suffering from extreme cold, hunger, and in a serious lack of medical and psychological support.
    A refugee’ journey starts a long way before getting on a plane to the US.
    Please consider donating to NGOs as Doctors without Borders or SIRIUS (http://www.sirius.help/about-sirius-help/) and raise awareness in your own community!
    This is a global crisis and, despite all the racist, selfish shit Brexit enthusiasts, Trump voters, and Le Pen supporters are vomiting every fucking day, no one can opt out: this is happening.
    This is our last chance to realize no human right issue is “someone else’s issue”.

  7. Let’s not forget a very important thing that you can do along with any of those things listed above. Stop seeing the world as burning. Look for the good. That is some advice I learned from a 100 year old holocaust survivor. I don’t think it is something that should go without saying. There have been bad things happening throughout history and life has gotten better for us. There was a time when most of us would have been serfs or slaves rather than people who do have a voice and way more control over our lives than ever before. We have overcome and will continue to. Anger is just fine especially when it is the road to hope rather than to despair. Look for the good. It will sustain you during this time.

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