Rochester, N.Y. — Nearly 1,000 people rallied in a historic Black church here on Feb. 17 under the call for a “United Community Response to Donald Trump’s Ongoing Hatred and Racism.” They then marched through downtown streets to the Liberty Pole, carrying signs reading “Stop racism,” “Black Lives Matter” and “End white supremacy.”
The rally was endorsed by more than 50 local churches and progressive and community organizations, including the 1199SEIU health care workers’ union, Workers World Party and the International Action Center. Notably absent were any representatives of mainstream politicians or parties.
The gathering was organized after Trump slandered and insulted immigrants of color and called African nations “shithole countries” at a meeting in the Oval Office in January.
“We want to make a public statement against the hatred and racism of Donald Trump,” said Minister Clifford Florence Sr., one of the organizers. “We wanted to make that public statement in the Frederick Douglass city.”
Rochester celebrated the 200th anniversary of Douglass’ birth on Feb. 14. The great anti-slavery revolutionary lived and worked in Rochester for over 25 years.