Organizing for the State of the Union Address – Protest: IN THE NAME OF HUMANITY, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO!
Tuesday, February 5, the night of the State of the Union address, was also the day that the City of Boston hosted the parade to celebrate the New England Patriots’ victory in the Super Bowl. An estimated 1.5 million people came into Boston to watch the parade.
In the aftermath of the celebration, a small crew from Refuse Fascism was in the Boston Commons, epicenter of the earlier celebration, calling on people to protest the SOTU and to stand with the people of the world in organizing to drive the Trump Pence Regime from power at the earliest possible moment.
It was a chaotic and instructive evening, with thousands of people milling around in the city in Patriot’s gear – jerseys and hoodies after the parade. The core of what has been branded “Patriots Nation” are younger white men from the suburbs, many of whom hardly ever venture into Boston. But on an unusually warm February night, all sorts of people were part of the celebration, people of all different nationalities, youth from the city, suburbanites and lots of college students returning to school after the holiday break. There was also a fair amount of drinking going on from an early hour, which led to at least one tense exchange.
At first a number of our crew were not exactly sure what to expect.
The most common response from people was to try to ignore us, many saying they just wanted to enjoy the evening without thinking about the SOTU or what the Trump/Pence regime was doing but when people did stop it was very polarized. People either really loved what Refuse Fascism was presenting or they hated it. What was instructive was that it didn’t break down entirely along lines of nationality. While people of color were more likely to take flyers, engagement came from all quarters. At one point a young white guy in a Patriots jersey rushed the RF banner and attempted to grab the sound system. After he failed and ran off into the dark, friends of his came up to say that they were really sorry for what he had done even though they disagreed with RF.
A few moments later, another white guy in a Patriot’s jersey who saw the incident came up to us and demanded a bunch of stickers, which he plastered all over his jersey and then proceeded to shout “F..k Trump” to whomever was passing by.
In another extremely animated exchange, a couple stopped to listen to the agitation and began talking with activists. The man, white, wore a “Sons of Belichick”hoodie (a take off on the TV series about a biker gang called “Sons of Anarchy”). The woman with him, a Latina, started talking about being from Colombia and how her kids would be targeted by the Trump/Pence regime for being Latino. “What will they do to my daughter – lock her up? Kill her? As she talked, the guy started putting stickers all over the front of his hoodie. They stayed with the RF crew for quite awhile, checking out the scene and engaging other passers by.
While a lot of people who work in Boston had taken the day off to avoid the crowds, a frequent reply from people going home from work was that they were consciously not going to watch the SOTU because they could not stand the idea of watching Trump, but that was not combined with much of a sense of urgency about the need to drive this regime out before they did any more harm to the people of the world. We weren’t able to transform the many thumbs up into organized action on the spot. But by the end of the evening, there was an understanding that as unfavorable as the situation might have appeared at first, this was a very important night to be out in the streets with others all over the country, mobilizing people around the stand, “In the Name of Humanity,We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America”.