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Students


19 January 2017

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ERC Solidarizes with US Students' Walkout on Trump Inauguration Day

The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) declares solidarity for the United States (US) national students' walkout, otherwise known as lecture boycott by the students movement here in Nigeria, to protest US president-elect Donald Trump's racist, misogynist and vicious capitalist agenda for America. The walkout is taking place on Friday 20 January 2017 as a part of series of mass activities to inaugurate the resistance to Trump.

The walkout, which will see thousands of high school and college students in the United States abandon classes was initiated by Socialist Students – the sister organization of the ERC in the US. Just as the ERC is the students and youth campaign of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM), Socialist Students is the campaign of the Socialist Alternative (SA). Both SA and DSM are respectively co-thinkers and affiliate of the Committee for a Workers International (CWI).

We are in full agreement with our comrades in the Socialist Alternative and Socialist Students who have described the election of Donald Trump as a disaster. This by no means translates that a Hillary Clinton victory would have brought any fundamental relief to working class Americans. Hillary, as Bernie Sanders correctly described her, is a servant of Wall Street and she remains so. Both Hillary and Trump were the most unpopular presidential candidates ever. This is why together with organizing mass resistance to Trump, the Socialist Alternative and Socialist Students are equally campaigning for a new political party opposed to the two parties of Wall Street – Democrats and Republicans – and devoted to standing up for the 99%.

No doubt a Trump presidency, despite his demagogic promises to provide well paid jobs, will have many negative consequences for the working masses and youth in the US and also globally. Trump has threatened to deport 2-3 million immigrants and to target Muslim immigrants for "extreme vetting". Women's reproductive health, democratic rights, and workers rights are all under threat. This is a big concern to many around the world especially here in Africa.

Hundreds of thousands of young people from Nigeria and Africa are in the United States for education and a brighter future. Many migrated to escape the horrors of poverty, wars and persecution back home. This is aside many professionals and working class people from Nigeria who are earning honest living by working in different sectors of the US economy and are sending the proceeds of their labour back home to feed families and dependants who are caught in the cycle of poverty here in Nigeria. All of these people are potential victims if Trump's racist and vicious far-right capitalist agenda are allowed to succeed. This is why mass resistance must be built now within the US and internationally to resist his policies and unite against division.

Above all, Trump has a clear capitalist agenda which will see the condition of extreme inequality worsen in the United States and globally while the fat-cat bankers continue to corner enormous profits while getting tax breaks. This will be combined with a warmongering foreign policy that will raise tension and the spectre of armed conflicts around the world. All his rhetoric about standing up to China and opposing free trade are merely to protect the profit interests of US multinationals and manufacturing companies and not necessarily to protect jobs. It is becoming clear that Trump does not and will not speak for average working class Americans. His cabinet is already looking set to be the richest, being dominated as it is by billionaires. No doubt, those who expect Trump to make "America great again" will be resoundingly disappointed.

Trump's capture of the Republican nomination was a distorted reflection of the widespread opposition to the billionaire class, opposition that was also shown in the huge support Bernie Sanders received for his call for a "political revolution" against the billionaires. Before he's been sworn in Trump's approval rating is under 40%, while 48% of Americans see him negatively. In the election Trump was not the most popular candidate, Clinton won over 2.8 million more votes. All this shows the potential for building not just resistance but also a real alternative.

At this crucial time, solidarity and unity among working people and youth is vital to resist Trump and start a movement to build a party of working people and a socialist future.

Hassan Taiwo Soweto
National Coordinator
Ibukun Omole
National Secretary