TrumpWatch: General strike call spreads; Trump workers' unionise; ACLU smash donations record; and more

February 6, 2017
An anti-Trump protest placard.
Calls for a national strike against Donald Trump's administration are spreading online.

Momentum for general strike call against Trump grows

“Activists are calling for people to stop working and buying things for a day to bring down Donald Trump,” The Independent reported on February 2. A nation-wide general strike has been called for February 17 to protest the Trump administration.

The case for a general strike on that day, the Friday before President’s Day, was first put in a Guardian article by Francine Prose, who argued that protests alone would not be enough to defeat trump or his agenda.

“Much of the organising of such an event is taking place online, and without the support of the official unions,” The Independent said. On Twitter, activists are posting under the #NationalStrike hashtag, with one post using that hashtag by The Wire creator David Simon receiving 3000 retweets on its own.

Workers at Trump’s Washington hotel vote to join union

“Workers at President Trump’s Washington hotel have voted to join one of America’s leading labor unions, setting the stage for potentially tense labor negotiations at one of Trump’s most high-profile businesses a few blocks from the White House, The Washington Post said on January 31.

“About 40 housekeepers and guest-room workers at the Trump International Hotel Washington voted last week to join Unite Here Local 25, a chapter that represents 6,500 hospitality workers across the Washington area, a union executive said.

“The vote, the first major unionisation effort of Trump-company workers following Trump’s inauguration, again highlights the thorny entanglements facing the businessman-president, who has given corporate management responsibilities to his children but has refused to divest from his business interests.”

Protests force Harley Davidson to drop Trump meeting

A White House official said on January 31 that US President Donald Trump had been disinvited from visiting a Harley-Davidson factory in Milwaukee due to take place on February 2 after the major manufacturer expressed concerns over expected protests, TeleSUR English said.

White House press spokesperson Stephanie Grisham confirmed that Trump’s unannounced visit was cancelled because the corporation “wasn't comfortable hosting him amid planned protests,” according to CNN.

TeleSUR English noted: “Given Harley Davidson’s long historical ties with Trump and the Republican Party, the cancellation is a significant indication of how massive popular mobilisation against Trump and his policies are creating fissures within the corporate Republican alliance.”

ACLU smashes donations record in one weekend

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has raised more than US$24 million in online donations over the January 28-29 weekend — one day after Donald Trump signed an executive order barring citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US, said.

Speaking to The New York Times about the record-breaking donations, ACLU executive director Anthony Romero said at least 356,306 people donated to the group, many of them first-time donors.

“The response from the public has been remarkable,” Romero told the NYT. “It clearly shows that people are exercised over the proposed policies of Donald Trump.”

He also noted that the ACLU gained about 200,000 new members. It had 400,000 members since Trump’s presidential victory in November.

Hundreds of US diplomats protest Trump’s travel ban

More than 800 US diplomats have criticised Donald Trump’s travel ban on nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries, through the release of an internal dissent cable from the US State Department on January 31.

An official from the State Department said that more than 800 diplomats indicated that they would sign. Leaked drafts of the cable circulated which said Trump’s ban stood “in opposition to core American and constitutional values that we, as federal employees, took an oath to uphold,” adding that the ban would breed global anti-US sentiment and punish those who came to the US on humanitarian grounds.

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