A report from Jamaica’s Observer.
Caribbean American Congresswoman Yvette D Clarke has joined several United States Congressional representatives in planning to boycott Donald Trump’s inauguration as US President on Friday.
Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, who represents the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, New York, will be among a number of Democratic lawmakers who say they will stay away from the ceremony.
This comes in the wake of Trump’s attack on US civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis, of Georgia.
“I will NOT attend the inauguration of @realDonaldTrump,” Clarke tweeted on Saturday. “When you insult @RepJohnLewis, you insult America.”
According to the New York Daily News, Trump insulted the Georgia representative on Saturday after Lewis said he did not see Trump as a “legitimate president,” citing claims that Russia meddled in the US election in Trump’s favor.
According to Politico – a Virginia based political-journalism organisation, – Congressmen Adriano Espaillat and Jerrold Nadler, of New York, are among at least 18 congressional representatives planning to stay away from Trump’s inauguration.
On Saturday, Nadler tweeted that Trump stands with Putin, while he supports Lewis.
“ (We) Cannot celebrate the inauguration of a man who has no regard for my constituents,” tweeted New York Congressman Jose Serrano on Thursday, responding to Trump’s campaign pledge to deport millions undocumented migrants.
Another New York congressional representative, Nydia Velazquez, pledged to travel to Washington in joining thousands of women protesting Trump’s presidency with a massive march scheduled for the Saturday after the swearing-in ceremony.
Earlier, California Congresswoman Barbara Lee said she “will not be celebrating or honoring an incoming president who rode racism, sexism, xenophobia and bigotry to the White House.
“Donald Trump ran one of the most divisive and prejudiced campaigns in modern history,” she said in a statement. “He began his campaign by insulting Mexican immigrants, pledging to build a wall between the United States and Mexico and then spent a year and a half denigrating communities of colour and normalising bigotry.
“He called women ‘pigs’, stoked Islamophobia, and attacked a Gold Star family,” Lee added. “He mocked a disabled reporter and appealed to people’s worst instincts. I cannot in good conscience attend an inauguration that would celebrate this divisive approach to governance.”
After the November Presidential Election, Lee said many hoped the president-elect would turn toward unifying our country.
“Instead, he has shown us that he will utilise the same tools of division he employed on the campaign trail as our nation’s Commander-in-Chief,” she said. “We need look no further than the team he is assembling to find signals that the era of Trump will be one of chaos and devastation for our communities.
“Donald Trump has proven that his administration will normalise the most extreme fringes of the Republican Party,” the congresswoman added. “On Inauguration Day, I will not be celebrating. I will be organizing and preparing for resistance.”
On Saturday, thousands of civil rights activists converged on Washington for a Martin Luther King Jr. Day march, vowing to vehemently oppose the Trump presidency.
The “We Shall Not Be Moved” march, led by the Civil Rights Leader the Rev. Al Sharpton, kicked off a week of similar protests scheduled around Trump’s inauguration scheduled for Friday.
“We will march until hell freezes over, and when it does, we will march on the ice,” said Cornell William Brooks, president and chief executive of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the oldest and largest civil rights organisation in the United States.