From Virginia to Wisconsin, broad front against Trump

Over 1,000 protesters answered a call by young activists on social media and took to the streets of Cleveland on Nov. 18 to tell the incoming administration that “Trump is not my president!”  Many of the marchers were on their first protest and brought signs they had made themselves. Another demonstration has been set for Dec. 3.

Called together in only a few days from throughout Southwest Virginia, dozens of poor and working people came out to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. memorial statue on Nov. 19 in Roanoke to continue the fight against the pro-Wall Street Donald Trump and Mike Pence administration.

The multinational participants arrived from Floyd County, Lynchburg, Radford and other locations, many driving over 100 miles round trip to join the protest, which kicked off with a loud, militant chant of “No Trump! No KKK! No racist USA!”

Participants in a speakout honored Dr. King, noting that he was murdered while standing in solidarity with Memphis’ striking sanitation workers and that he also stood up to racist anti-worker politicians. Speakers included union organizers, supporters of Planned Parenthood, anti-fascist activists, longtime LGBTQ community fighters, anti-police brutality activists, Fight For $15 organizers and many more.

Speakers noted that it wasn’t people of color, immigrants or Muslims who shut down coal, textile and other manufacturing plants or harmed the environment in Southwest Virginia. It was Virginia-based and Wall Street capitalists and their political servants who closed the plants.

The mostly youth and students present pledged to assist and defend Muslims, refugees, women, the LGBTQ community, people with disabilities, and workers and the poor under attack by the Trump-Pence administration.

During the speakout, Roanoke police threatened participants with arrest for “unlawful assembly” for having an activity without a permit. The protesters stood up to this outrageous threat, marching into downtown Roanoke and back. The cops backed down.

“We stand against Trump-Pence and any capitalist politician who perpetuates racism, sexism, xenophobia, obscene wealth for the few via exploitation of workers and plundering of public resources, the poisoning of our waters, airs and lands, wars and police terror,” said Jason Lambert of 15 Now Roanoke.

People’s actions are scheduled in the coming weeks and months in Southwest Virginia, including a Dec. 10 Justice For Kionte Spencer rally and Dr. King community marches in Lexington on Jan. 14 and in Roanoke on Jan. 17. More information is at facebook.com/15NowRoanoke.

Wisconsin activists pledge resistance

Upon learning that Trump won the election, community members hit the streets Nov. 8 in Milwaukee and Madison, Wis., and stayed there with a series of protests. Plans are in motion for resistance actions on the Jan. 20 inaugural date and beyond.

“Since Trump’s victory, we have seen a huge increase nationally and in Wisconsin in bullying and attacks against Latinxs, Muslims, African Americans, immigrants, women, Asians, LGBT people and others,” wrote Christine Neumann-Ortiz, executive director of Voces de la Frontera in a Nov. 14 media release.

“We call on religious communities to commit to offer sanctuary to people targeted for deportation. In Wisconsin, we are holding forums across the state and organizing for work stoppages and mass protest in the event that Trump moves forward with his plans. We pledge resistance and we encourage others to do likewise.”

Voces de la Frontera held mass meetings in Milwaukee and Racine on Nov. 13. At both meetings community members voted to strike and mobilize massive protest actions to stop the coming attacks.

The newly formed Milwaukee Coalition Against Donald Trump sponsored a march of 3,000 in downtown Milwaukee on Nov. 10, followed by a meeting of over 200 at All People’s Church on Nov. 20. There speakers announced there would be a mass rally and march Jan. 20 in Milwaukee that would kick off “100 days of resistance” paralleling Trump’s first 100 days in office. (See facebook.com/MilwaukeeCoalitionAgainstTrump.)

For updates and more information on anti-Trump protests in Wisconsin: wibailoutpeople.org, facebook.com/wibailoutpeople.org or facebook.com/workersworldpartywisconsin

(Photo: Milwaukee Coalition Against Trump )

(WW photo: Susan Schnur )