Trump Administration Spurs a Solidarity Wake-Up Call in U.S. and Abroad
In ways large and small, people around the world have risen up against newly-elected Donald Trump’s hate-filled policies and appointments. Former President Barack Obama had been silent since leaving office but spoke up on Monday, January 30, praising the surge of activism against his successor and opposing religious tests.
Here are just a sampling of the ways that individuals and groups are saying “NO” to Trump.
Protecting EPA data: On the Saturday before inauguration day, on the sixth floor of the Van Pelt Library at the University of Pennsylvania, roughly 60 hackers, scientists, archivists, and librarians sorted through hundreds of government web pages and data sets to get through before the end of the day—all strategically chosen from the pages of the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—any of which, they felt, might be deleted, altered, or removed from the public domain by the incoming Trump administration. (Source: Wired)
[Note: Missing soon after inauguration were a number of reports and documents, including the Department of Labor’s report on lesbians, bisexuals, gays and transgender people in the workplace and the White House’s exposition on the threat of climate change and efforts to combat it. (Source: Washington Post)]
Protesters along inauguration parade route: As Mr. Trump dined with dignitaries and members of Congress in the Capitol, mere hours after being sworn into office, police clashed with protesters in Washington just a couple of blocks from the inaugural parade route. At least 95 people were arrested. It was reported that riot police used pepper spray, boom devices, and flash grenades to try to disperse the demonstrators at 12th and K Streets in downtown Washington. (Source: Variety)
Women’s Marches across the globe: In a global exclamation of defiance and solidarity, millions rallied at women’s marches in the nation’s capital and cities around the world Saturday to send President Donald Trump an emphatic message on his first full day in office that they won’t let his agenda go unchallenged. “Welcome to your first day, we will not go away!” marchers in Washington chanted. The Women’s March on Washington articulated an explicitly feminist agenda, including its slogan “the rise of the woman equals the rise of the nation” and statements that marchers “will not rest until women have parity and equity at all levels of leadership in society.” Organizers said the demonstrations were scheduled for the day after the presidential inauguration as a direct response to Trump, whose stances on abortion, immigration, climate change, and health care have troubled participants. About 600 sister Marches were held across the globe. (Source: NBC News)
Exhibition art: People stand in front of a camera mounted on a wall outside the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City. They chant the phrase “He will not divide us” over and over and over again. They’re participating in a new live-streamed protest project from Shia LaBeouf, Nastja Säde Rönkkö, and Luke Turner. The project website says the participatory performance and mantra “acts as a show of resistance or insistence, opposition or optimism, guided by the spirit of each individual participant and the community.” Open to all, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the participatory performance will be live-streamed continuously for four years, or the duration of the presidency.
ACLU donations soar: The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) received a staggering amount of financial support, taking in more than $24 million in online donations, after President Donald Trump signed an executive order barring refugees and travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries. That’s roughly six times the $4 million in online donations it receives in a regular year, all in one weekend. “President Trump’s war on equality is already taking a terrible human toll. This ban cannot be allowed to continue,” Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project said. (Source: Newsweek)
Rising up again anti-immigration sentiment: Protesters marched, chanted, and waved signs across the nation Sunday as angry immigrant advocates pressed their demand for an end to President Trump’s executive order barring citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. Rallies underway in Boston, Philadelphia, New York, Washington, Los Angeles, and other cities Sunday drew thousands, part of a groundswell of fury that erupted at airports across the nation Saturday and showed no signs of abating. “There is such an energy and anger that I have to do something about it,” said Jan Rudzinski, of Arden, Del., as she joined a rally in Philadelphia where signs said “Welcome Muslims” and “Let them in.” (Source: USA Today)
Actors speak out: The January 29 award show sponsored by the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists took a serious turn toward activism and speaking up, as celebrities declared their support for those detained at airports around the country. It took roughly 15 seconds for the show’s tone to be set, when host Ashton Kutcher opened his monologue with “Good evening, fellow SAG-AFTRA members and everyone at home and everyone in airports that belong in my America. You are a part of the fabric of who we are. And we love you, and we welcome you.” (Source: Salon)
Trump fires his own Attorney General: President Trump fired his acting attorney general on Monday, January 30, removing her as the nation’s top law enforcement officer after she refused to defend his executive order closing the nation’s borders to refugees and people from predominantly Muslim countries. Sally Yates, like other senior government officials, was caught by surprise by the executive order and agonized about how to respond. Ms. Yates added to a deepening sense of anxiety in the nation’s capital by publicly confronting the president with a stinging challenge to his authority, exposing a deep divide at the Justice Department and other areas in the government over the wisdom of his order. “At present, I am not convinced that the defense of the executive order is consistent with these responsibilities, nor am I convinced that the executive order is lawful,” Yates wrote in a letter to Justice Department lawyers. (Source: New York Times)
Post-Pantsuit Nation organizations: Pantsuit Nation was to formed to celebrate the first woman in the United States’ top office. Since Secretary Clinton did not win the electoral college vote, a number of other organizations have emerged that point to action-oriented resistance. Together We Will, USA may be nearly entirely female-run, but its three main pillars for action — healthy communities, equity, and liberty, and justice for all — are not focused on feminism. Similarly, Suit Up Action Network calls itself a social justice movement that wants to “take human rights advocacy to the next level.”
Protests against Donald Trump occurred during his presidential campaign, including at political rallies, and continue now that he has been inaugurated as President of the United States. Protesters have held up a number of different signs during protests and have chanted various shouts, including “Not my president” and “We don’t accept the president-elect.” movement organized on Twitter under the hashtags #Anti-trump and #NotMyPresident. Even after 300,000 American citizens signed an online petition of WhiteHouse.gov calling on President Trump to release his IRS tax returns as he promised he would during his campaign, Trump announced he would not release his tax returns due to lack of interest. In response, a Tax Day March on April 15, 2017 has been planned in over two dozen major cities in the U.S. to pressure Trump to release his tax returns.