November 18 Protests Around the Country:
Breaking the Silence and Bringing the Noise to Say: “This Nightmare Must End!
The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!”
On Saturday, November 18, people in cities across the country answered the call from Refuse Fascism to “Break the Silence! Bring the Noise!” With rallies and marches, they brought out the message: This Nightmare Must End! The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!
The call for the day said:
RefuseFascism.org is calling on everyone who can be united to sound the alarm and break the silence. What is the silence we are breaking? The silence of normalization and accommodation, of people going along with their lives as Trump escalates war threats, as immigrants are detained and deported, as everyday fascism is advanced.
What is the noise we are bringing? We’ll be waking up and calling forward all those who burn with outrage at this regime but don’t yet know of this movement. We will march to a beat with a determination that this regime will not destroy humanity and the planet. Pots and pans, drums and buckets, whistles and our voices.
New York City
Out in front of the New York Times
— #TrumpPenceMustGo (@RefuseFascism) November 18, 2017
Delivering a letter to the @nytimes requesting them to cover our major protests
— #TrumpPenceMustGo (@RefuseFascism) November 18, 2017
Refuse Fascism started the day in Washington Square Park. The entire time people were chanting and banging on pots and pans creating a ruckus that broke the silence. About half the crowd was young people. People from different parts of the country that happened to be in NYC were attracted by the energy of the march and the message of breaking the silence of normalization. Two high school students from Las Vegas that we met in the park, and their family, joined the march and carried the banner for most of the march. They were inspired by the high school student walkout in LA and were excited about organizing some things in their school. A student from Albany came all the way just to join the march. He came despite the fact that his friends didn’t.
Among those who joined in were a young Australian dancer who was VERY energized and a young college student from out of town, who marched with us all the way to the New York Times. Throughout the march, we chanted, “March with us, march with us, march with us, cuz Trump and Pence must go!” The Times Square area along 42nd Street was very congested with tourists and Black people from NYC. Many gave a thumbs up or the fist and took copies of the Refuse Fascism call, “This Nightmare Must End! The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!”
A high point of the march was at the end. We marched to the New York Times offices to deliver a letter requesting that they cover the Refuse Fascism protests that they have consistently whited out. Instead of taking the letter, they called the police that had been with the march the entire time to come inside. Afterwards, JW Walker of the Steering Committee of Refuse Fascism-NYC spoke to the crowd outside about why we were there to request they cover the Refuse Fascism protests: “We are living in a time where Trump threatens the future of humanity.”
People gathered making lots of raucous and wonderful noise with drums, buckets, pots and pans, bells, and a variety of handheld instruments. “Break the Silence! Bring the Noise!” rang out in a cacophony of sound, all this in the midst of a wind, rain, and temperatures dipping into the 30s. The crowd seemed unfazed by the weather as they defiantly jumped and danced in the deep puddles on the plaza of the State of Illinois Building (the Thompson Center) in downtown Chicago.
Among them were a high school student, a young woman in her 20s, a Native American LGBTQ activist, blues harmonica player Matthew Skoller, another Refuse Fascism activist, and a member of the Revolution Club. As we marched through the Loop, our numbers began to grow. People who came late joined us, as did many people from the downtown streets, especially young people. Bystanders clapped and cheered and filmed as we passed. At intersections the march would stop and people were called to join in.
A suburban high school teacher came with several students. Three young Latinos who had been at the march on November 11 returned this week. One had gotten a copy of Revolution newspaper last week and asked if she could volunteer with the paper and is now doing that. Three Latino high school students, with joyous looks on their faces, joined as we approached Trump Tower. When someone asked if one of them wanted a sign, she responded YES!, took it, and started jumping up and down with it. When asked why they joined one responded, “Because we feel like Trump should be gone.” Another said, “I joined because we need to protest for our rights.”
A Columbia College student said, “I am tired of the way things are going and this is the best way to do it now. You know we can’t let fascism take over America. I had been normalized, you know what I mean, but now I am waking up.” Students from suburban Elmhurst College joined the march—several belonged to the Queer Straight Alliance. A young woman scientist said she got involved with Refuse Fascism through social media and the internet. She said she had gone to the Women’s March and Science March and, “I just felt like I had to make a presence and Refuse Fascism is one of the most consistent and persistent of these organizations.”
We wound up at the entrance to the Trump hotel. A short final rally was held there. At that rally jazz drummer and composer Ted Sirota said, “Everybody, you have an assignment. You joined the march, you gotta take a task, whether it is getting out flyers, mobilizing at your school, spreading on social media, we have a specific role for you to play. Everybody and their little brother and sister and their grandmother and cousins, when you go home for Thanksgiving, talk to your family, speak the truth to them, don’t back down. We know what the truth is and they are attacking it every day. We are going to stand with objective truth and we are going to fight for the future of humanity.”
— RefuseFascismSF (@SFRefuseFascism) November 18, 2017
People rallied in front of City Hall and then marched through the Castro and Mission districts to Dolores Park. The crowd included students from Cal State, San Luis Obispo, an SF high school drum group, families with their kids in strollers, educators, activists, and revolutionaries. The mood was serious about the urgent need to drive out the regime and enthusiastic about making noise and music. A large, loud sound system helped unleash the spirited rally and march.
Refuse Fascism speakers at the start challenged everyone to step forward to build this movement, and led the crowd to chant, whistle and break the silence! This regime must be driven from power, and we have to bring forward the millions to do it. One RF speaker drew a powerful parallel between the movement that’s needed today and the civil rights movement and movement to end the war in Vietnam. People put their lives on hold and on the line to change the world. And that is what we must do now.
In addition to speakers from Refuse Fascism, an immigrant from the Mission organization La Colectiva de Mujeres spoke, along with another activist from the Mission. A representative from SF Indivisible said, “We have a moral imperative to stand up now and say that this man must be impeached. We can’t just stand by and let him trample the Constitution and the rule of law.” He also read a poem about impeachment. A San Francisco State student who also works with Human Rights Campaign in the Castro told of how the LGBTQ community is fearful: “I can’t express how important this is for our community in particular, to get the Trump administration out of the White House so we don’t have to fear any more or as much.”
And an older man with his homemade sign describing fascism passionately put his thinking this way: “We can’t let the people in Washington do to the Muslims what the Germans did to my people 85 years ago. If we don’t get the word out there, it’s going to be too late.”
The group of students from San Luis Obispo came with their own banner—“No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA.” One of them said he was there because “we’re at over 12 months since Trump was elected and there’s a sense of complicity arising among some people and a community of resistance is growing among others…. The media is the ultimate in complicity. The people’s complicity is regulated by the media. The Democrats are not the solution. They are just as quiet on so many things. And before Trump they were just as quiet on so many things. We need to be strategic to use the Democratic Party to create the world we want to see but really recognizing the limitations of it. We’re here to resist the Trump/Pence regime, to refuse fascism, standing up to the Trump/Pence regime, against fascism.” He spoke of how important Refuse Fascism is and how it must grow.
The march took off from City Hall and made its way through the streets to the Mission District. Along the way, many people took up flyers, some joined the march and signed up with Refuse Fascism. Some contributed money on the spot. In the Mission District, the march made it to Dolores Park, packed with people picnicking and socializing. The march went inside the park, chanting and bringing the message of Refuse Fascism to many hundreds of new people right there. The march ended with a short rally in the middle of the park, where a Pence piñata was destroyed by kids.
People rallied and then marched through the streets, bringing the noise that the Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! People came with their own noisemakers—pots, pans, drums, kazoos, a trumpet, and more. Speakers at the rally included Luna and Erica from the Refuse Fascism Student Network who gave a shout-out to the Mendez High School students who have walked out twice in their attempt to get rid of the Trump/Pence regime.
Brooke from Indivisible spoke about going on a road trip to Washington, DC, with Refuse Fascism and fighting to end this fascist regime. Magician Mueller and Madame Metoo took to the stage saying, “No more misogyny,” and telling people that the way to make Trump disappear was to “hit the streets.” Bo, an Iraq war vet, spoke for Refuse Fascism. Powerful music was provided by the band Hero Injection. People on the sidewalk were called on to join the march, which several UCLA students did as they were making their way to the LA Coliseum for their rivalry football game against USC. After the march, people took over the street at Pershing Square, where the rally was held for a block party with music and dancing.
People rallied in front of the Texas state capitol, banging pots and pans, demanding that the Trump/Pence regime must go. Several people who had come out on November 4 came, as well as a couple of students from the University of Texas, Austin. One of them said that she came because she saw the posters up on campus. A number of flyers got out to passersby and tourists. At the capitol, seven zombie reactionaries from Infowars disrupted the rally and provoked confrontations with protesters and one protester was unjustly arrested. Refuse Fascism regrouped, focused on our message and marched towards UT Austin. Infowars seemed to give up trying to provoke us and left. As we marched up the streets, people were mainly positive—cars honking in support, and a few people joining in on the call and response. Outside UT Austin, among our chants was, “If you hate Trump, if you hate Pence, get your ass up off the fence! Join us, join us, join us, NOW!”
Boston: A Day of Bringing the Noise Against Fascism and White Supremacy
Reprinted from revcom.us: On November 18, 30 activists rallied at Copley Square as part of actions taking place around the country to “Break the Silence! Bring the Noise! This Nightmare Must End! The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!” They heard speakers from Refuse Fascism; Academics Against Fascism; and others, including Carl Dix, an initiator of Refuse Fascism and a representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party; Joel Feingold from Refuse Fascism; and a statement from the Reverend Rob Mark of the Church of the Covenant. Dozens of passersby stopped and a number signed up with Refuse Fascism on the spot. Afterwards the rally was led in a boisterous march through downtown Boston by a contingent of the Boston Area Brigade of Activist Musicians accompanied by homemade drums, cowbells, and whistles.
Chanting “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA,” the march joined with a rally at the Boston Commons called by Fight Supremacy 2.0. This rally of 1,000 people was countering a white supremacist, neo-fascist “Rally for the Republic” called by Resist Marxism that drew 40-50 people with massive protection by hundreds of police. The fascists have tried various tactics after Charlottesville to re-brand themselves—as a free speech movement, as against Marxism, and claiming that they are not white supremacists—but fascist groups that are openly so came in from around the country to make a showing, as they have in liberal cities like Berkeley and Boston. People were not bamboozled and came out in strength to expose and firmly oppose them.
A very diverse turnout of mostly young people, including students from area colleges, made up the bulk of the very defiant crowd at this counter-protest. MCs from the Black Lives Matter movement led people to chant and bring on the motherfucking noise that drowned out the fascists’ sound system. People heard from speakers who urged them to come out in opposition to white supremacist attacks in Boston and elsewhere. Bands of white supremacists roamed through the crowd of protesters looking to provoke, and the scene was marked by the revulsion and defiance of those who came out to overwhelm them, and disciplined monitoring by Veterans for Peace, anti-fa and others.
Carl Dix was invited by Fight Supremacy 2.0 onto the makeshift stage, a park bench, and he drew a rousing response when he called out those at the Rally for the Republic as shock troops being unleashed by the Trump/Pence regime to hammer fascist rule into place in this country. And again when he called on the young people at the counter-protest to bring their spirit of defiance into the movement to drive the Trump/Pence regime from power, before it’s too late. People at the rally grabbed up flyers being distributed by those who marched in the Refuse Fascism contingent and got connected with the movement to drive the Trump/Pence regime from office.
The day as a whole met a test that Boston will not tire and will not allow these fascists to take hold of the public square—and of people broadly uniting and putting petty sectarian agendas aside to accomplish this.
In the cold and heavy rain, people broke the silence and brought out the noise with bucket drums and amplifier that was heard for blocks! We were active members of Refuse Fascism, a youth who got involved on November 4, a gay activist and college student, a woman who had first-hand experience with fascism in Germany.
A young Black man watching said to his two friends and us that he voted for Trump. He then said he was joking to try to get a rise out of us! They spoke with deep feeling on what Trump means for Black people and signed up. They took flyers and passed them out, and started chanting, “Fuck Trump, Fuck Trump!” then brought their chant and dance into the rally, uniting it with the rhythm on drum and buckets. With everyone dancing to the beats. Then we took the march into a downtown mall—drumming and shouting to let the shoppers know we will, and they must, break the silence of normalization and conciliation. We went in with a banner and lots of noise. Though we got kicked out by the police, the point was made that “This Nightmare Must End! The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!” and some people took note. A youth who signed up many people for Refuse Fascism today in the rain said, “I am excited about finally standing up. Other groups sit around and talk. Refuse Fascism is doing something.”
Very determined people marched in a constant drenching rain through the streets of Detroit breaking the silence of complacency and bringing noise and resolve to stay in the streets until the Trump/Pence regime is gone. There were active members of Refuse Fascism, representatives of Metro Detroit Political Action Network, Stop Trump Ann Arbor, and others. People brought pots and pans, noisemakers and a tambourine. A woman, probably in her 70s, who had just met Refuse Fascism two nights before marched with a homemade noisemaker. We were joined by three students from Oakland University who said when they saw the event on Facebook they knew they had to be there.
We marched behind a large Refuse Fascism Banner and wound through the streets of Detroit with chants echoing off the walls and accompanied by loud rhythmic thunder created by multiple bucket drums. One of the marchers skillfully twirled a large bright flag during the march. We mainly ran into hundreds of people rushing to join a huge religious ceremony in Ford Field. They were not unfriendly, but were very focused on what they were doing. We ran into pockets of people working the event, who cheered us on, clapping and raising their fists in the air. We chanted and spoke to the crowds of people who were entering the stadium.
In spite of really harsh conditions, our march was very bold and caught people’s attention.
People in restaurants put down their forks; people in hotels came to their lanais, and people on the sidewalks stopped to take photos and leaflets. We were so loud that our chants and drumming echoed back to us from the walls of high-rises. All because some of us stepped into the streets to make some noise! The energy was contagious and a few onlookers even started their own chants. On Saturday night we proved that even a small number can make a real difference! Thousands heard us; many thanked us.
People gathered in Thomas Paine Plaza with a banner reading “Drive out the Fascist Trump/Pence Regime—RefuseFascism.org,” and with bucket drums, a cowbell, corrugated metal trashcan lids, whistles, dozens of helium balloons with NO! written on them, and other little noisemakers.
Folks spoke from the megaphone. Two spoke very poignantly about the threat of nuclear war and the wars that are being waged, and one spoke mainly to the need for people to start taking action. After initially planning to march on the sidewalk, we took the streets and partially circled City Hall, then went up 15th street and turned onto Walnut, one of the busiest and poshest shopping areas in Philadelphia.
Drumming and chanting and stopping to agitate the crowds outside the Apple store, outside a Taylor Girlz concert, and at busy intersections, inviting people to join us in the streets and leading people in taking the pledge. A lot of people joined us in the pledge—we did it three times and each time we had bystanders put their hands in the air and say it with us, while many more stopped and mumbled along under their breath or were silently supportive.
People broke the silence and brought the noise, meeting for a rally at City Hall and marching through the downtown shopping core. One speaker was an elementary school teacher who found Refuse Fascism and felt compelled to speak out because five of her ESL students have fathers who were detained or deported in the last year. She said she felt helpless to stop it as an individual and led everyone in a primal scream of NO! at the end of her words.
Another speaker, a Refuse Fascism organizer who is a longtime activist in many important causes and who is now dedicating time and resources to the overarching RF mission, ran down Umberto Eco’s 14 features of fascism and examples of each under this regime. Weldon Nisly, retired Mennonite minister and member of a Christian Peacemaker Team to Iraq and Palestine, spoke about how wars are truly a war on children and the power of nonviolent movements to effect change.
Marchers wore rainbow capes, wigs, and umbrella hats and created a cacophony of sound with pots and pans, wooden spoons, native drums, decorated buckets, sound horns, tambourines, and more. Four protesters carried a giant inflated Earth globe while a couple of others traded off wearing a big bobble-head Trump. We stopped at intersections to agitate, get out flyers and collect donations—and make as much noise as possible! New chants that developed on the spot or were brought by new organizers were: “Wake Up America/Get Out of Bed/Dump Donald Trump/Before We’re All Dead!” and “This is NOT Normal/Trump Must Go! This is NOT Normal/Pence Must Go!” The marchers took up the orientation and fought to grow the march as we went, but although there were people along the route who clapped, said thank you, and took photos and video, not one person stepped off the curb into the street. This beginning core of people who HAVE decided to actively oppose the Trump regime and the consolidation of fascism are trying to understand what is holding others back from taking that step.
There was a short speak-out after the march. A young man brought to the protest by his stepfather said that after the elections, his and other high schools were at first shocked and silent but then started walking out in protest. He said this needs to be happening every day now and that it’s a disgrace that things have gone on this long. A woman from Australia said the people of the world are depending on us, that even though there aren’t as many people as we need, we’re doing the right thing and need to continue.
— #TrumpPenceMustGo (@RefuseFascism) November 18, 2017
Refuse Fascism joined with others protesting an appearance by Steve Bannon.