Socialist Worker

'The protests are getting bigger,' say anti-Trump activists in the US

Issue No. 2530

Protesters march on Trump Tower in New York

Protesters march on Trump Tower in New York (Pic: Rhododendrites/Wikimeda Commons)

The protests that greeted Trump’s election have grown, spreading across the US.

His bigoted, racist rhetoric has disgusted millions­­­­­. Hundreds of thousands have come out onto the streets.

In the meantime, the call from some sections of the Democratic Party and liberal elite to “give Trump a chance” is falling on deaf ears.

“In the face of a Trump victory, it’s important for us to be unified and ask for the permanent protection, dignity, and respect of undocumented people,” said activist Santiago.

Trump’s policies are coming under fire from the people who are supposed to be implementing them.

Trump announced on Sunday that he would be pushing for the deportation of two to three million undocumented immigrants.

But Los Angeles police chiefCharlie Beck said on Wednesday that the LAPD would not cooperate with to begin deportations.

There have been thousands-strong protests every day since Trump’s election in the city.

Protesters stormed the Trump-owned hotel in Washington DC, where the president-elect’s transition team were holding a meeting.

A spokesperson for the Black Lives Matter chapter in Austin, Texas, spoke to Socialist Worker about the protests there.

“There have been spontaneous protests in Austin,” they said.

“People are feeling the need to voice their concerns, what the future holds for them, and what this election means for democracy in America.

“The protests have been getting bigger and spreading with more people becoming active,” they added.

“For many people, particularly those who are disenfranchised and marginalized, this has caused many people to think about new ideas and strategies to implement to seek change in this country.”

People in the US are agitated for sure. Now, we progressives have our work cut out for us

Teamster union activist JP Wright

Trump’s comments have spurred on the movement in the streets. But his proposals are nothing new—the Obama administration deported 2.5 million people between 2009 and 2015.

According to some reports activists at over 100 universities have protested, demanding that campuses become places of sanctuary for immigrants and ethnic minorities.

Some 1,000 students and faculty members joined an anti-Trump protest at Syracuse University on Wednesday.

Socialist Worker spoke to Simone Puff, assistant professor in women’s and gender studies at Syracuse.

It was a powerful, peaceful coming together of students from all backgrounds to take a stand for solidarity and social justice and against bigotry and hatred of any kind,” she said.

“The message is bigger than just a response to the election and reflects social justice movements.

I think it's more than just the comments about mass deportations.

“Students of colour, LGBT students, and many female students are concerned about the implications of a Trump presidency.

“And a lot of other young people don't want their peers to live in fear so they speak out. This goes beyond the divide between Republicans and Democrats and speaks to larger civil and human rights issues.”

Whole sections of the US ruling class oppose Trump and will use any trick in the book to get rid of him.

That creates an opportunity for our side. As Trump comes under fire from his opponents in the establishment, the movement from below is pushing forward.

Teamster union activist JP Wright described to Socialist Worker the challenges and opportunities this presents for the left.

“You might not be able to reform political parties or capitalism, but you can learn,” he said.

“People in the US are agitated for sure. Now, we progressives have our work cut out for us.”

The huge protests bringing together activists from different movements and new layers of people disgusted by Trump’s sexism show the potential to build serious resistance to Trump

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