Socialist Worker

'Trump will not keep us hiding in the shadows' vow activists ahead of protests

The racist, sexist billionaire’s election as president has galvanised opposition, says Sadie Robinson

Issue No. 2536

Protesters marching against Donald Trump in Washington in June, during his election campaign

Protesters marching against Donald Trump in Washington in June, during his election campaign (Pic: Stephen Melkisethian/flickr)


Hundreds of thousands of people are set to join protests in the US to mark the inauguration of Donald Trump as president next week. Demonstrations have been called for 20 January.

Organisers say a Women’s March in Washington the following day could be 200,000-strong.

The march aims to “express to the new administration and Congress that women’s rights are human rights and our power cannot be ignored”.

Transport is booked from across the US to bring people to the protest—many of whom have never been on a demonstration before.

Heather is coming from Indiana. “It will be my first time marching for anything, anywhere,” she said in a post on the protest’s Facebook page. “But I can’t wait to stand for equality with sisters and brothers from coast to coast!”

Cindy, another first time marcher, said there are “lots of first timers going that never did anything before”.

Beth from Kentucky wrote, “I am 57 years old and never marched for anything. But the time has come to stand up for all the things that the Republicans want to ignore and put down.”

The election of Trump, a racist, sexist billionaire, rightly sent shockwaves around the world. But it has also galvanised many more people into political activity to oppose him.

Eric Fretz, an activist with Brooklyn for Peace in New York, told Socialist Worker, “Trump’s victory was a disappointing and important setback.

Outrageous

“His few stated policies and his outrageous cabinet picks strongly suggest his administration is going to be much worse, ideologically and practically.

“But I have seen more people looking to enter activity after the shock of his election. I am confident it will lead to more people in the streets than under Barack Obama. There is a palpable new anger.”

Over 50 rallies in around 20 states were set to take place this Saturday to defend migrant and refugee rights. Kica Matos from the Center for Community Change said activists would “have to use every tool in our arsenal” to push back Trump’s racism.

“Is civil disobedience on the menu for what we will engage in?” she asked. “Eventually, it is unfortunately, likely.”

A number of groups, including United We Dream, have come together to organise the protests. They will defend migrant and refugee rights, as well as opposing Islamophobia.

Kica said, “We want Trump to understand the might, the resilience and the power of our immigrant families and the immigrant rights movement.”

Cristina Jimenez from United We Dream said Trump’s threats to deport migrants “has generated fear throughout the immigrant community”.

She added, “But we will not hide in the shadows.”


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