The demo started with a rally/speak-out in front of the Martin Luther King Jr. historic site. There were about 75 people that came for the rally, but hundreds of tourists stopped to listen to the rally and take pictures. The rally led to a march down the Beltline, a path that surrounds the city and has many hundreds of people walking and biking. The march ended in Piedmont Park. The crowd was diverse, including immigrants, students, Black and white, multi-aged.
There were people there from the Impeach movement, many that came directly after the Women’s March (which took place a few hours before our march). There were ’60s people and some that came to perform street theatre, like Donna J. Trump, who impersonates and mocks Trump. Among those speaking were a Somali immigrant who is a refugee activist, and a woman who works with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
July 15, in the morning, more than 200 people came to a rally in front of the Department of Justice—this was a continuation of the protest called by organizers of the Women’s March, Women’s March from #NRA2DOJ , in response to the vicious videos from the NRA (see statement from Refuse Fascism, “We Must Support Those Under Attack”) which began on the day before at the National Rifle Association (NRA) headquarters in suburban Virginia. People marched 17 miles from there to the Department of Justice, where a rally was held the next morning. There were very strong demands in relation to the fascist attack videos that the NRA had recently put out, and there were gun control advocates and people who had family members die from shootings. Linda Sarsour, Carmen Perez, and Tamika Mallory from the Women’s March were among those who spoke. There were some NRA and Trump supporters, perhaps 10 on other side of street, but overall there was not the menacing atmosphere there had been at the NRA headquarters the day before.
Several of us from Refuse Fascism came there in support and in participation of this two-day march and rally. At the end of Saturday’s rally, the main moderator got on the stage and said she wanted to give a shout out to Refuse Fascism and held up the flyer for July 15 and encouraged people to connect with Refuse Fascism people in the crowd.
After the rally officially was over, one of the Refuse Fascism activists did a mic check about the importance of driving out the Trump/Pence regime and its direct connection to the vital issues of the rally. A crowd of people gathered around and expressed strong agreement. Then, with the chant “No Trump, No NRA, No Fascist USA” being taken up by many in the crowd, 75 people joined in a march to the Trump International Hotel, two blocks away. Many stayed in front of the hotel for a spirited speak-out. At the beginning and end people took the pledge: “NO—In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!”
Throughout the speak-out, it was stressed that today, July 15, was a national day of action to drive out the Trump and Pence regime, in over 18 cities, and that everyone in attendance at the speak-out was contributing to adding powerful voices from DC to this national day of action.
“In Seattle about 100 people rallied and marched in the streets and were defiant in the face of a dozen fascists who tried to intimidate them throughout the day. At this writing, over 67000 people viewed livestream coverage of the protest by the local CBS news affiliate, KIRO 7.
“There was a lot of political breadth reflected in the sponsoring organizations, the speakers and the crowd, ranging from Obama supporters to revolutionaries, from people who work on legislation via the Indivisible guide, to immigrants under the guns of the police and fighting unjust detentions. Members of Refuse Fascism have some experience seeing and facing off against the fascist forces unleashed by the Trump/Pence Regime. For others this was new.”
Fifty people came together at the Joe Louis Fist Memorial in downtown to join in the nationwide day of protest. Speakers included Refuse Fascism, Metro-Detroit Political Action Network and others, followed by a spirited march through downtown behind a home-made banner, “NO! Drive Out Trump/Pence Regime!” (The National Lawyers Guild provided legal observers.)
Approximately 200 people gathered at Thomas Paine Plaza in Center City Philadelphia to rally and march demanding that “Trump and Pence Must Go!” The rally indicted the Trump/Pence regime powerfully, with every speaker calling on people to resist, saying that people’s organized resistance is the determining factor and that nothing good will happen without it. Some invited people to get involved into this movement while also searching deeper for answers to why this is happening, and what can be done to uproot the basis for these fascists. Others called on the crowd to call their representatives in addition to being out in the streets. The rally culminated into a march lead by members of ADAPT in wheelchairs. Out into the streets, the march circled around city hall, and made its way to specific buildings & institutions that represented the targets of Trump’s America.
40 or so police on the bikes hovered over our rally location, but no one was intimidatee. As protesters began to fill the plaza, we blasted anti-trump songs over the sound system. The people who came out included: many queer/trans individuals, many millennial women, at least four families with children, black and white members of the boomer generation, one priest, people who had never been to protest before, people who learned about us on Facebook, people who had come out to the impeachment march, people we met from street outreach, including at the Unitarian Church, people on vacation including a woman from Germany and a couple from Baltimore, members of antifa who came in street clothes and joined as non-bloc, and people who work at service organizations and social justice organizations.
We led the march around city hall and continued to the Federal Detention Center, Hahnemann Hospital, and a Church which is a leader in the new sanctuary movement. At each stop, the march held a speak out exposing the aspects of the fascist program representedat the location and tied it al back in to the need to drive it the whole regime “not just trump but all of them. not just one of their policies but all of them!” People were full of determination taking intersections, and when the cops didn’t want them to go down to Market St. Adapt folks defiantly took their wheel chairs around the cops and did it anyway with people who walked righteously behind them as well as through the police line.
A diverse group of 60 people came out: Black and white high school youth, women in their 80s, a young Black man representing proudly with a rainbow NO! sign, people in electric wheelchairs, a Muslim woman in a hijab, and people connected with Indivisible and the Cuyahoga Progressive Caucus. Several fascist militia men showed up, armed with automatic rifles and dressed in fatigues, trying to intimidate people. We did not let these fascists hold us back from our mission. At the rally, speakers from different perspectives spoke to the urgency of the demand: NO! In the name of humanity, the Trump/Pence Regime MUST GO!
The J15 rally was held in Somerville at the conclusion of a day-long arts festival. 85 -100 people, most coming after learning about it on Facebook. Some were with groups like Indivisible and Interfaith Worker Justice. One woman said she had voted for Hillary Clinton but was now so furious with the Democrats as well as Trump that she wanted to get with Refuse Fascism. Speakers and statements read at the rally were from: Refuse Fascism; Rev. Rob Mark of the Church of the Covenant; “To the Fighters and Dreamers of July 15,” from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA; activist with Interfaith Workers Justice Coalition, on the case of a Salvadoran immigrant who was recently detained for deportation by ICE while he was getting an extension on his work visa; Academics Against Fascism (AAF); a statement from a Refuse Fascism woman activist, who is a quadriplegic and could not attend the rally (the statement was read by a doctor with AAF); a Salvadoran woman (born in U.S.) who was not planning on speaking until she listened to Refuse Fascism statement. The rally ended with a singer/songwriter singing Woody Guthrie’s “Deportee.”
Our march was loud, visible, and fast-moving as it moved through the Waikiki tourist district during the busy supper-hour. Beaches and sidewalks were crowded; diners came to windows, and tourists came out to their hotel lanais. Many joined clapped, raised their fists, or joined the chants. A few shouted their support for Trump and some GI’s tried to get a group together to counter us while another group of GI’s showed their support. While much smaller than we’d anticipated (only about 25) the march ended with high spirits and strengthened determination.