A Multitude of Coups: No, You Cannot Take My Rights - I'm Still Using Them
Bad sign to be already depressed by Monday, and why not: The Horror-In-Chief denies climate change is a threat to national security, turns out to have exhibited his usual "appalling lack of humanity and decency" by hosting the NRA on the anniversary of Sandy Hook, seems poised despite our snowbound protests to tax scam the next generation into bankruptcy with "the worst piece of legislation in modern history," and again managed to make a tragedy, in this case a fatal train derailment, all about him by bragging about his "soon-to-be-submitted infrastructure plan" - aka it doesn't exist - though in fact he's done nothing for our failing infrastructure but cut transportation funding, including $928 million from construction grants and $630 million from Amtrak. And the tax scam will cut more. Soon after his narcissistic boast, a grown-up wrested the Twitter controls from him long enough to offer an appropriate if mindless "thoughts and prayers" follow-up, but not before social media noted, "You are despicable...You are a gross human being...You have no heart or soul....What about the people who died, you fuckwit?" The final judgment: "For the nation to endure you must not."
Just so, decided Ravi DeRossi, owner of 15 high-profile New York City restaurants and bars, shortly after last year's election. Formerly apolitical but moved to act beyond "drinking and complaining" by the electoral catastrophe, DeRossi and a couple of partners opened "Coup," a non-profit, philanthropic bar where the cost of every drink went to help a Trump-resistant organization. Buy a drink, get a wooden token, drop it in the jar of your choice representing Planned Parenthood, Human Rights Watch, the ACLU, the Global Fund for Women, the victims of Texas and Florida hurricanes, OutSmartNYC working to end sexual violence in nightlife spaces, or other groups. DeRossi's plan was to keep the Coup open as long as Trump was in power. This fall, he slightly changed course, closing down the original site to create anti-Trump pop-ups in other locales; one of the first, in Brooklyn, was a Puerto Rican-themed event to raise money and supplies for hurricane victims. Others have remained close by for good reason: "There are 12 million people in New York," he says, "and 10 million of them want to vent." For DeRossi, acting meant opening a bar: "This is what I know how to do." But given the deep unhappiness of so many with the Trump regime, he argues, everyone can do something. One of the defiant messages on Coup's walls for those of us depressed each Monday: "The power of the people is stronger than the people in power."
Blackout poem by Maine Poet Laureate Stu Kestenbaum