On Jan. 20, Inauguration Day, a coalition of over 75 Twin Cities local and grassroots organizations took to the streets as part of national Inauguration Day protests. Sparked by the election of Trump, the Resist From Day One Coalition MN was created to bring together a growing list of Twin Cities groups and individuals to unite in defending our communities against the racist, anti-immigrant, anti-worker, anti-Muslim, anti-woman, anti-environment, anti-LGBTQI agendas of the Trump Administration and beyond. Even as the march began, group endorsements continued to come in.
Several thousand people marched and rallied to reject the Trump Administration’s hateful agenda.
The event began at 2 p.m. at Lake Street and Nicollet Avenue with a spirited rally.
A spokesperson from Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC), who spearheaded the formation, said, “We believe that no human being is illegal and no families should be separated by deportation. We pledge to resist Trump’s unjust attacks on immigrants.” Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric has fanned the flames of xenophobia in the United States and continues to threaten many new Americans.
Among the speakers were four students from the Southside Family School and members of Student Association for the Advancement of Children as People, including Leila Yorek Sundin, who captured the energy of the crowd when she said, “ Something remarkable has come in response: hope, community and strength.” Also speaking were representatives of the Minneapolis NAACP, CWA 7250, People of Color Union Members, Committee to Stop FBI Repression and Release the Minnesota 8.
Angel Buechner of the Welfare Rights Committee said, “The women of the Welfare Rights Committee have been battling sexism, racism, poor-bashing and bigotry for over 20 years—from both Republicans and Democrats. We have faced off against Trump-like crap before, as we struggle for basic income and dignity for poor families. So, we will not let this ORANGE CLOWN get us DOWN!”
As the 1,000 people who had gathered began the march down Nicollet Avenue, the streets filled with the sounds of their chants. “The people united will never be defeated, El Pueblo unido jamas sera vencido,” “Say it loud, say it clear, immigrants are welcome here,” and “Racist, sexist, antigay, Donald Trump go away,” “Trump says go back, we say fight back.” Pedestrians, shopkeepers, customers and motorists greeted the march with great enthusiasm. They honked, gave thumbs up and videoed, and some joined the march. At Nicollet and Franklin Avenues the march stopped for another rally and was joined by The Black Snake Resistance March and a walkout of students at the University of Minnesota, Augsburg College and various high schools. Matt Boynton of Students for a Democratic Society had this to say about their participation in the student walkout, “Our walkout aims to unite students for a more just and democratic society than what Trump is anticipated to bring. We are organizing this action as one of many dozens of chapters throughout the country that are answering that national call for walkouts put forward by Students for a Democratic Society. We are also happy to be coordinating as part of the citywide coalition to resist Trump’s reactionary agenda from Day One!”
Firey speakers included representatives from Mn 350, the Young Muslims Collective, SDS, Native Lives Matter and MORENA. Anh Pham from Rad Azns said, “Almost 75 years ago one U.S. President signed into law the decree that would intern Japanese-Americans. Now we have another U.S. President who is threatening to form a Muslim registry. Rad Azns stands with our Muslim community, we oppose attacks against the LGBT community and stand with our immigrant community.”
The march, now doubled in numbers, proceeded on to the People’s Plaza at Hennepin County, which they filled for the third and main rally.
Jess Sundin, member of the Twin Cities for Justice for Jamar and Freedom Road Socialist Organization, welcomed everyone: “We are here representing the immigrants, Somalis, Muslims and queer communities. We are workers, students, families and people [here] to say no to Trump’s agenda.
The speakers were rousing and inspirational and included Imam/Dr. Hassan Mohamud, director of Muslim American Rights Matter, as well as the president of Minnesota Student Association (UofM), CTUL on strike at Home Depot, Black Lives Matter St. Paul, TC Coalition for Justice for Jamar, 15 NOW, and Planned Parenthood.
Cherrene Horazuk, president of AFCSME 3800, said, “Trump has already signaled very clearly that it’s open season on workers and our unions. President Trump has also made it clear that he is prepared to carry out massive attacks on our immigrant and Muslim co-workers and communities. Our union has always worked to create solidarity across differences, to expand our rights, and to unite all people in our efforts to improve working and living standards.”
Jennie Eisert from the Anti-War Committee said, “Trump has nominated some of the most right wing and hawkish cabinet nominees in history, particularly the generals that he wants to run the military complex. Trump has said that he wants to carpet bomb Syria—his cabinet will deliver. Trump won’t rule out ground forces in Syria—his generals will deliver. To facilitate this drive to war and domination, Trump has said he will begin a Muslim registry— need I say this? He has the cabinet to deliver. We’ve heard his beating the drums of war throughout his campaign and we need to be in the streets to oppose Trump’s wars!”
As the rally ended the crowd roared their pledge to continue to resist Trump and his hateful agenda.
PHOTO CAPTION: More than 100,000 marched in St. Paul. Many wore pink pussy stocking caps. Photo by Chris Bordeaux