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 has written 3 articles for us.

51 Comments

  1. Thank you for righting this

    If you may I would like to add to the donate section, by saying please don’t forget about us and donate to the Anti-defamation league to fight Antisemitism, cause you know we are a big Nazi/KKK target still. http://www.adl.org/

    If it weren’t for America’s mostly open immigration policy, I wouldn’t be here in the States as a Mizrahi Jew(from Iran). This is a subject close to my and my community.

    • Thank you so much for the link! I’m not Jewish but it’s clear that antisemitism is a significant factor in the Trump administration’s decisions, as well as in the larger cultural goings-on. The immigration policy changes were announced on Holocaust Remembrance Day (and the official White House statement about the day made literally no mention of Jews. If that’s not an act of aggression towards Jewish people and Judaism I don’t know what is.).

      I think it’s fair to say as well that in addition to the specific Islamophobia and antisemitism, there is a general zeal for denigrating any perspective or heritage that is not explicitly Christian [and evangelical protestant in particular], which is awful in so so so many levels, including the fact that Trump could not be less genuinely religious OR spiritual if he tried.

    • I’ve tried to donate to ADL from overseas a few times but they couldn’t accept any of my credit cards (which have been fine for other overseas donations and transactions). Has anyone else had this?

  2. Chandra, my fellow Canadian, this is awesome, thank you!

    I wrote this on the post this morning, but I will put it here as well. If you’re Canadian, call your MP! If you’re not sure what to say, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association has a great script and list of good talking points specifically regarding Trump’s Executive Order on immigrants and refugees. You can repeat the script, or just mention the CCLA’s list.

    https://ccla.org/contact-your-mp-re-us-travel-ban/

  3. Other one for UK people not directly anti-trump but v.important. Please support/ volunteer/ donate to disability organisations/ charities as the UK is being investigated by the UN for its treatment of disabled people. We need all the help we can get with the way the got is treating us

  4. Also, you can look into what you can do for refugees, and other immigrants from these (and other) countries, coming into your country, maybe! Maybe it’s practical things, maybe it’s a donation, maybe it’s reminding your politicians that you will not accept them trying to follow Trump’s lead, or something else.

  5. This is great! Thanks for writing it 🙂 There is a Dutch protest planned at the US embassy wednesday (https://www.facebook.com/events/164778217344370/)

    There is also a protest planned against our own weird haired fascist (Wilders) days before the Dutch national elections. If my health allows it I’ll be there. My most used tumblr # is #fucktrump. I’m also looking into what charities to donate to – but I do not have endless funds and needing to choose between famine, human rights, refugees, lgbtq+ rights… All this energy worldwide is really helping me to keep going but it’s not easy.

  6. Oh, fuck.

    http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2017/01/sources-report-trump-executive-order-lgbtq-community-coming-soon/

    “Several sources spoke with LGBTQ Nation on the condition of anonymity who have told us that the order will allow for discrimination in a number of areas, including employment, social services, business, and adoption.

    From what we’ve heard, the executive order could be far-reaching, and could include: making taxpayer funds available for discrimination against LGBTQ people in social services; allow federally funded adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ parents; eliminate non-discrimination protections in order to make it possible to fire federal employers and contractors based on their sexual orientation or gender identity; and allow federal employees to refuse to serve people based on the belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman, and that gender is an immutable characteristic set at birth, which would impact a broad range of federal benefits.”

  7. Thank you for this!!

    Does anyone know of anything happening in Australia about this? Or a petition/anything to get Australia’s govt to speak up against this? At the moment they are just congratulating each other on how “The rest of the world is catching up to us” or saying “It is not my job as Prime Minister of Australia to run a commentary on the domestic policies of other countries” (yes he seriously said this) 🙁

    In the meantime there are some good suggestions here, thank you!

    • According to the SMH, “Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says the Turnbull government will support Donald Trump’s ‘strong immigration and border protection policies'” which is frankly disgusting.
      I think one of the best things to do is, as I think someone said in the comments, to call up your local reps and tell them that you don’t support Donald’s policies, and will not support tightening of Australian restrictions on immigration?

    • Unfortunately, our government is quite adept at being horrible already… only thing is they’ve gone to extreme lengths to keep the impact of their horrible immigration policies largely out of the public eye through secretive offshore detention centres, draconian confidentiality agreements for staff. And it’s built to be worse and worse, year under the watch of both major political sides – both dog whistling anti asylum seeker sentiment to the polls year on year.

      An organisation worth considering donating to in Australia is the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre https://www.asrc.org.au/

    • I’m Canadian and working on action here but have also been reaching out to friends in other countries working with immigration, I think it’s important to note immigration and the refugee crisis are global, not domestic, issues – particularly countries like Australia known as a destination country for immigrants would see an impact. Play up potential effects domestically and your country’s immigration history. Call representatives and ask what your government is going to do for refugees or demand concrete actions

    • ScoMo has already come out and said that he’s glad that the US is “catching up” to Australia’s border policy. I honestly don’t know if there’s going to be too much said about it. Turnbull is reasonably spineless, and is probably trying to avoid saying anything which would push more members to join One Nation.

      Best we can probably do is keep writing to our local members about any concerns + joining in any upcoming marches. Also donating to ASRC as Madge said.

  8. Ok….so…we’ve been under the “reing of terror” of the north for a while now in Latin America. I think we can handle the political agenda of our activism.

    We must never forget that in moments of oppression and resistance,geographical privileges don’t just disappear. My advice: organize yourself in/with your local community and for your own territories. International political analysis it’s necessary,but we must not forget that almost every revolution started in in the northwestern territories arrived to our latitudes in de bags of colonialism and capitalism…

    A friendly interpellation of a daily reader from Argentina.

    • I 100% agree that local activism is most important. I’m hoping that people who have become newly galvanized by what’s happening in the U.S. will translate that energy into action in their own communities.

      • “Galvanized” I need to start using this word immediately!XD I don’t know what’s going on in other countries, but in Argentina we have a very large amount of people outraged with trump presidency but incapable of seeing the similarities of his neoliberalist policies with those of our own local president Mauricio Macri.
        Globaly we are against a very clear agenda displayed by conservatives ideologies…and the fact that many can’t recognize in our own territories what seems evident in the U.S of A, gives me the creeps (and the occassional outrage).
        To fight fasiscim and capitalism in our latitudes we need to recognize it in their inner logics and institutions. So we can fight it back no matter who’s in charge, be that trump or macri or whom ever…

        “Somos la muerte de la moral,somos guerrilla de la subversión sexual”

  9. Cool awesome great exactly what I’ve been wanting! also Ive been super aware lately of how the majority of news and media I consume is american and trying to up the amount of reading/listening/watching I am doing of things made by Canadians and about canadian politics so if anyone wants to share their fave sources I’d love to hear

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Also share non U.S news coverage and correct news coverage of your own country when it is lied about and used to support the trump administration policies and actions.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.)

  15. 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?

  16. 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”.

  17. 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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