I’m writing to invite you to support a demonstration of community solidarity on January 20th – the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration. His election, and much else in 2016, spread division and disquiet throughout our community as some expressed their anger at being excluded and marginalised while others became fearful for their safety and security. Hate crimes significantly increased from July onwards, and we saw the first assassination of a UK politician in a quarter of a century.
That’s why people all over the UK (and indeed the world) want to use January 20th to mark a new start; a commitment to reuniting our community, and healing divisions. I’m the secretary of Somerset Co-operative Community Land Trust, and as a CLT (we manage a property on East Reach, providing social rental housing for people at risk of homelessness and promoting credit unions and co-operative services) we want to bring together the most diverse range of local people possible, and be a forum in which a common vision for Taunton can emerge.
‘Bridges not walls’ is a theme being used to mark the difference we all want to see; it’s most famously associated with Martin Luther King. In each location (Bristol, York, Huddersfield and several places in London) the most iconic bridges in the country will see banner-drops; we hope that the combined impact of banners on bridges across the country will turn a story about a supremacist President into a story about grassroots solidarity.
North Town Bridge, the oldest in Taunton (first recorded in 1280, you might like to know) is the site that we plan to use for our contribution to this global event. We hope lots of you will be able to join us at 1.30pm on Friday (a working day, I know…) for about an hour. And of course we hope that you will all want join the Community Land Trust (just £1) and like us on Facebook as well.
So, please pass on this email; sign up on our Facebook event page; share the event with your friends (Facebook or real life friends, it’s up to you); and best all, come along on the day.
Yours, Alex Lawrie