I’m not sure how many Inauguration Day protests in DC I’ve been to over the years. The one I distinctly remember is January 20th, 2001, George W. Bush’s first inauguration. There was a similar political dynamic then as the upcoming Trump one. A reactionary Republican was taking office, and progressives were very concerned about what it would mean across a broad range of issues.
Of course, Bush had not campaigned the way Trump did. He hadn’t been publicly accused by a dozen women of sexual attacks. He hadn’t called Mexicans rapists or for a ban on all Muslim emigration into the USA. He wasn’t a full-on, narcissistic, pathological liar. He hadn’t aligned himself so overtly with white supremacists. He hadn’t nominated the head of Exxon Mobil to be Secretary of State.
But there were justifiable fears, and they proved to be well-founded after the 9-11-01 terrorist attacks. The world, especially the Middle East, is still reeling from the continuing impacts of the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld invasion of Iraq, in particular.
Trump has made it very clear by his Cabinet appointments that he does not intend to use his Presidency to unify the country. He and other Republican leaders have every intention of doing all they can to turn the clock back years, decades, on issues across the board, and to do it quickly once Trump takes office.
It is essential, strategic, absolutely necessary that the demonstrations in Washington, DC and in localities around the country be strong, large, vocal and nonviolently militant. The American people, a big majority of whom do not like Trump, need to see and feel the power of our people’s resistance movement.
Fortunately, there is a whole week of action shaping up in Washington, DC, beginning the weekend of January 14th and 15th.
On the 14th the National Action Network is organizing a We Shall Not Be Moved March on Washington. On the 15th, the 88th birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Interfaith Moral Action on Climate is organizing a spiritual assembly and walk to the White House beginning at 2 pm at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church.
During that weekend a collective of long term DC organizers and activists working under the umbrella of the DC Welcoming Committee will initiate a week-long series of actions, trainings, and events to give Trump an appropriate welcome to their city.
On January 18 and 19, The Climate Justice Alliance is teaming up with Grassroots Global Justice and Right to the City for the #ItTakesRoots Pushback! Convergence. There will be Training for Trainers Labs and Strategy Conversations. More info can be found here.
On January 18th climate activists are organizing a Climate Convergence where activists will network to help plan the work ahead. Workshops will be held on organizing, strategy, mass action, intersectionality, allyship, and more.
On the morning of January 19th Beyond Extreme Energy is organizing a “Resist Trump’s FERC” action at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The monthly FERC Commissioners meeting is happening that morning, and for the 27th month in a row activists will go into it to speak out against FERC’s rubber-stamping of permits for fracked gas pipelines and other infrastructure.
On January 20th, Inauguration Day, there are various activities taking place, including decentralized but nonviolent direct actions, coordinated by Build and Resist nationally and the DC Welcoming Committee.
Then on January 21st there is a massive Women’s March beginning at Independence Avenue and 3rd St. SW and marching to an area near the White House. This looks to be the largest event of the week.
And this is just the beginning of our resistance campaign. It will be followed by 100 Days of Resistance leading up to a massive People’s Climate March on April 29th in DC. More information on those activities can be found here.
It is encouraging to see the ways that our resistance movement is rising up in response to the threat that a Trump-led government represents. In the face of this clear and present danger, it’s time to hit the streets, in DC and around the country, starting Inauguration week and just keep going. The people, organized, have the power, and we must use it now.