By Abby Zimet / Common Dreams
Oh dear. Increasingly but mystifyingly, it seems some people are unhappy with their “president.” On Wednesday, a group of immigration protesters from Rise and Resist closed down 5th Ave. in front of Trump Tower, chanting “If you take the kids, we take the streets.” A number of them were arrested in the first of evidently more planned acts of civil disobedience to protest the Trump regime’s failure to reunite thousands of immigrant families in the wake of their grotesque child kidnappings. And hours earlier, at around 3 a.m., a lone but resolute patriot took a pick-axe to Trump’s long-dubious, frequently vandalized star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, obliterating it once and for all.
Witnesses said a man walked up to the star with a guitar case, pulled out the pick-axe, and had at it. He was evidently far more effective than James Otis, who in 2016 also took a shot at it, getting three years probation, community service and a fine for his act of patriotism; the star, for which Trump paid $30,000, has also been defaced with obscenities, dog poop and a mini-wall to keep out Mexican rapists and CNN reporters.
Shortly after Wednesday’s heroic act, the perpetrator called LAPD police to report it, ending the call with, “See you soon.” A few hours later – as people were already pocketing souvenir pieces of rubble – Austin Mikal Clay, 24, turned himself in and was booked on a charge of felony vandalism. Little is known yet about Clay, except that many Americans are eager to buy him a beer.
The response to Clay’s lapse in civility was swift and exceedingly kind. While the head of Hollywood’s Chamber of Commerce issued a mild rebuke – “When people are unhappy with one of our honorees, we would hope that they would project their anger in more positive ways…People can make a difference by voting” – most people were jubilant.
Before Clay was I.D.’ed, they speculated on possible suspects: Robert De Niro, Queen Elizabeth, a disloyal friend who did it without them. They offered thanks, drinks, marriage, a Hollywood-funded wall around the scene of the crime. They made jokes about thoughts and prayers, a walk of shame, it being too soon to politicize pick-axes. They argued you can’t believe what you see and hear so it didn’t really happen, and every time someone destroys something of Trump’s another angel gets its wings. “Who would want to do this?” moaned one. “Oh my heavens, round up the usual 8.6 billion suspects.” “I am appalled and ashamed!” proclaimed another. “You never leave a pick-axe behind, brother!”
Many also felt the resulting wreckage offered an apt, if sorrowful, metaphor for what Trump’s doing to America – with the pick-axe left there suggesting the promise of rebuilding.
First, though, Clay had to be rescued. With his bail set at $20,000, a minimum bond of $2,000 was reportedly needed to spring him, according to a GoFundMe page that raised that amount within hours. Its legitimacy was questioned by some – GoFund rules forbid raising money for an illegal act – but by Wednesday evening it appeared unnecessary. According to TMZ, an admirer had already offered the full $20,000 to free Clay. His name was James Otis, Clay’s predecessor, and comrade-in-pick-axes.