By Doug Porter
On Saturday, supporters of immigrant rights at rallies around the U.S. denounced President-elect Donald Trump for his anti-immigrant rhetoric along with his pledge to build a border wall and discriminate against Muslims entering the country.
On Sunday, Supporters of the Affordable Care Act gathered to protest the health care law’s repeal in rallies across the country.
And throughout the holiday commemorating the late Dr. Martin Luther King rallies and marches from coast-to-coast called out the implicit and explicit racism of the incoming administration.
We Shall Not Be Moved
Opponents of Trump’s rhetoric and promises on immigration participated in events in Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Jose, California, and other cities.
From the Union-Tribune, via the Associated Press:
In Chicago, more than 1,000 people poured into a teachers’ union hall to support immigrant rights and implore one another to fight for those rights against what they fear will be a hostile Trump administration…
…In Los Angeles, several hundred people rallied at a downtown Mexican-American cultural center and plaza. Some carried signs saying “Here to Stay” and chanted “Si se puede,” Spanish for “Yes, we can…”
…The line to enter Metropolitan AME Church in Washington stretched nearly a city block. People attending included immigrants who lack permission to be in the country and their relatives and supporters. Also present were elected officials, clergy and representatives of labor and women’s groups.
Many participants interviewed for the AP said they also planned to participate in next Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington.
Calls for Unity
The Rev. Shane Harris, founder of the San Diego chapter of the National Action Network, spoke at a rainy Washington DC rally on Saturday organized by the Rev. Al Sharpton at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.
From the Washington Post:
Holding umbrellas in 30-degree temperatures, marchers stretched three city blocks as they progressed down Independence Avenue as part of the Martin Luther King holiday weekend celebration. “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!” they shouted, along with chants of “No justice, no peace!”
Dozens of speakers rallied attendees to focus attention on issues affecting African Americans, who made up the majority of the demonstrators. Topics included protecting voting rights, supporting affordable health care and working against mass incarceration and police brutality. But other speakers — including various Hispanic elected leaders, white labor-union officials, and representatives of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community — also called for unity among the groups in pushing for more affordable housing and supporting immigrants, labor unions, gay rights and equal pay for women.
Holding the rally a week before Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration, organizers said, was intended to send a message to the incoming president and his administration, as well as to members of Congress, that the various groups plan to unify in the coming months and years to push for those causes.
Watch @ninaturner‘s speech in front of the MLK Memorial today.
We must lift as we climb. pic.twitter.com/lckQ3TpsoY
— Our Revolution (@OurRevolution) January 14, 2017
Get Along to Go Along?
The spirit and themes of the DC march and rally were quite a contrast to the official Martin Luther King Day parade in San Diego on Sunday, which –at least far as the coverage in the Union-Tribune indicated– seemed to be more along the lines of acquiescence.
“I think the message this year is ‘Let’s get along,’ ” said Brian Samuels, parade chairman and volunteer with the event for nearly a decade. “Let’s live the dream that Martin Luther King set out for us to live. He’s been gone for a while, but we have to continue that legacy and keep it moving on.
“We’re in a new age and political climate,” he added. Things may not be the same as they’ve been the last four to eight years. There will be some changes, but we can endure it and keep trying to live that dream.”
I sure as heck hope that’s a quote taken out of context.
Our First Stand, led by Democratic leaders and organized in many areas by supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders, was a “day of action” in 70 cities to show support for the health care law now facing congressional Republican repeal.
From Think Progress:
“There are differences of opinion about the Affordable Care Act — some like it, some don’t like it,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said at a large rally in Warren, Michigan. He was joined by Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Gary Peters (D-MI). “But very few Americans believe that we should repeal the ACA without a replacement program to make it better.”
“Know we are saying to our Republican colleagues: We will not allow you to throw up to 30 million Americans off of health insurance,” Sanders added.
Try Reading a History Book
President-elect Donald Trump’s most noted previous mention of Martin Luther King in his twitter feed was on June 30, 2013, when he spoke out defending TV Chef Paula Dean for using the N word.
Today, in the face of a flood of criticism for calling out Rep. John Lewis (who refuses to accept the legitimacy of the Trump presidency) on twitter, saying the famed civil rights activist was “All talk, talk, talk — no action or results,” Trump tried to play nice:
Celebrate Martin Luther King Day and all of the many wonderful things that he stood for. Honor him for being the great man that he was!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 16, 2017
Trump’s ignorance knows no bounds. A few seconds on Google might have provided him with a few facts about Lewis:
In 1961, Lewis joined SNCC in the Freedom Rides. Riders traveled the South challenging segregation at interstate bus terminals. Lewis and others received death threats and were severely beaten by angry mobs. In 1963, when Chuck McDew stepped down as SNCC chairman, Lewis was quickly elected to take over. Lewis’ experience at that point was already widely respected–he had been arrested 24 times as a result of his activism. He held the post of chairman until 1966.
In 1963, Lewis helped plan and took part in the March on Washington. At the age of 23, he was a keynote speaker at the historic event. In 1965, he led 525 marchers across the Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. State troopers attacked the marchers in a violent incident that later became known as “Bloody Sunday.” In 1981, Lewis was elected to his first official government office as an Atlanta City Council member. In 1986, he was elected to Congress, where he is currently serving his seventh term.
And then there is the matter of the actual programs supported by Rev. King, which I kind of doubt Donald Trump and his billionaire cronies would call “great.”
Free! Tickets! Please! Come! to DC!
Perhaps Donald Trump is getting so upset on twitter because so few people actually want to come to his inauguration.
Via Jen Hayden at Daily Kos:
Is Donald Trump’s inauguration crowd going to be bad or the worst in modern American history? He’s only been able to draw a handful of D.C.-area wedding DJs and a handful of county fair musical acts. A growing list of congressional representatives have pledged to boycott the event and a D.C. council member says they’ve only received 200 bus applications (versus 1,200 for the protest march the very next day.)
But, perhaps the most telling sign this is shaping up to be an embarrassing disaster for Team Trump is the fact that only six days out from the event, Donald himself took to Facebook to record a message
begging offering free tickets to anyone who wanted to attend. If you make it through the ceremony, he’ll throw in a set of steak knives and you’ll be entered to win a complimentary trip for two to the luxurious Mar-A-Lago resort. (Okay, that last bit is not true, but it could be!)
Scottish Sunday Herald TV guide – a preview of the Trump inauguration. pic.twitter.com/kFyiNfWLVy
— Nahunta Brown (@MeneuxBrown) January 15, 2017
Note: The “feature image” on the SDFP front page with this story is a snip from Shepard Fairey’s inauguration poster this year.
Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to “The Starting Line” and get an email every time a new article in this series is posted!
I read the Daily Fishwrap(s) so you don’t have to… Catch “the Starting Line” Monday thru Friday right here at San Diego Free Press (dot) org. Send your hate mail and ideas to DougPorter@SanDiegoFreePress.Org Check us out on Facebook and Twitter.