US president Donald Trump is facing serious problems. He has not yet been able to fill key positions and the protests against him are deepening.
Thousands of people took to the streets in the US last week in a show of defiance to Donald Trump’s presidency. Across the country activists shutdown workplaces and demonstrated.
Tens of thousands took part in the A Day Without Immigrants strikes and protests last Thursday. Some 7,000 people marched through Charlotte, North Carolina.
Protests were organised Raleigh, North Carolina, and Austin, Texas. Thousands of people joined demonstrations in Chicago and Detroit. Some schools were shut down in Los Angeles.
A “national strike” was organised on Friday, taking different forms in dozens of cities and towns.
One of the organisers, Sakina Bryant, spoke to Socialist Worker about what happened in Rohnert Park, California.
“There were ten events in my area, and many businesses have shut down,” she said.
“Across the country I know of hundreds of events with an awful lot of people. Our purpose is to say “no” to Donald Trump.
Lawyers also took part in Friday’s stoppages. A spokesperson from the legal defence fund organisation Latino Justice PRLDEF spoke to Socialist Worker about the walkout.
“Most of the mobilising was at the grassroots level and through word of mouth,” they said.
Some 50 lawyers took part in St Louis, Missouri, Keith Rose told Socialist Worker. And hundreds of people demonstrated in New York City’s Washington Square Park,
Dakota Access Pipeline activists held protests as part of the day as well. Some 60 people protested in Corvalis, Orgeon. Protests and organisations are feeding into each other and linking up.
Although Friday’s strike didn’t involve trade unions officially, many union members were involved. It provides the basis for even larger mobilisations in the future.
And migrant rights organisations, as well as the organisers of Friday’s actions, have called for another national strike on1 May to push the movement forward.
And in a statement, organisers of the Women’s March called on people to “unite again in our communities for A Day Without A Woman” on 8 March—international Women’s day.
Students and university workers walked out and held teach-outs as part of Friday’s protests. Some 50 people walked out at Florida state university.
And Michael Drexler from Bucknell university in Pennsylvania said, “We had over 200 participantson Friday”.
Trump’s nominee for labour secretary Andy Puzder, CEO of multiple fast food chains, was forced to pull out last week.
But one crucial reason behind that was ignored by the mainstream press—the role of organised workers.
Anna Susman from the Fight for $15 campaign spoke to Socialist Worker about how they organised to defeat Puzder.
“Industry front groups such as the National Restaurant Association launched a last-minute scramble to save Andy Puzder’s embattled nomination,” she said.
But, she explained, “The opposition to Puzder has been relentless and started the first day he was nominated.”
Organisations such as the National Employment Law Project and Jobs With Justice, along with local organisations and activists coordinated the campaign.
Anna said, “Thousands of fast-food workers flooded the streets in three successive rounds of protests hitting dozens of cities since early January”.
Workers occupied the headquarters of Hardee’s, one of Puzder’s fast food chains. They protested on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
A social media campaign saw the #NotOurLaborSec reach 42 million people. And workers filed 39 wage theft, sexual harassment, and intimidation complaints at Puzder restaurants.
The actions have shown the potential for workers to play a bigger role in the upcoming mobilisations.