Anti-Trump Organizers Plan Massive ‘J20’ Event To Mark Inauguration Day

Organizers of inauguration protests speak to MintPress News about Jan. 20 and the prospects for mobilization under the Trump administration.
By @jncatron |
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    NEW YORK — Thousands of protesters who have mobilized nationally since the election of Donald Trump are planning a massive convergence in Washington against the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20.

    “We believe that we are entering a new period of mass mobilization in the United States,” Walter Smolarek, a spokesperson for the ANSWER Coalition, told MintPress News.

    ANSWER, which organized a number of major anti-war protests since its founding 15 years ago, is one of many groups mobilizing against the inauguration.

    “In some cities, attendance at mass meetings focused on mobilizing for the inauguration protest has been in the hundreds,” Smolarek said.

    Other groups planning inauguration protests range from anarchist collectives to networks of immigrants and women.

    Online organizers, including some associated with Occupy Wall Street, have also floated proposals for a nationwide general strike.

     

    ‘A shift in awareness, concern and fear’

    Organizers and observers expect events to swell with the thousands of demonstrators drawn into the streets since Nov. 8.

    After the election, a weekly meeting of one protest group in New York City, the People’s Power Assemblies, grew to over 200 participants.

    While the meeting’s one to two dozen regular participants normally fit comfortably around a conference table, newcomers the week after the election spilled out of a Midtown office, with some standing in a hallway to hear the discussion inside.

    Many spoke of their participation in the protests that have taken place almost daily since the election, some of them for the first time.

    The outpouring “indicate[s] a shift in awareness, concern, and fear,” Colin Ashley, a PPA organizer, told MintPress.

    “They indicate the possibility of a larger, more radical movement, aligned with more left policies.”

     

    ‘They feel betrayed’

    As new waves of protesters have joined gatherings across the country, their different perspectives have come into sharp contrast.

    The night after the election, tension erupted at a demonstration outside Manhattan’s Trump Tower, as some participants chanted slogans against the New York Police Department while others tried to discourage them.

    Stark differences between disgruntled Hillary Clinton supporters and more radical Trump opponents persisted at demonstrations over the following weeks, and may even continue through the inauguration protests.

    “The protests have marginalized long-time activists and people of color,” Ashley said.

    “These protesters speak a language of peace and love, often not realizing that they are telling the most oppressed that they should love their oppressors.”

    Others find cause for hope in the uneasy mix of ideas.

    “Many people are newly entering the movement and engaging in protest for the first time,” Smolarek said.

    “The more people stay engaged in the struggle and are welcomed and mentored by long-time activists, the more exposure they will have to radical ideas.”

    And in the aftermath of stinging losses at every level, attempts by Democrats to steer reactions may produce few results.

    “There is an effort by Clinton supporters and the Democratic Party machine to keep the message safe,” Sara Flounders, co-coordinator of the International Action Center, which plans to protest on Jan. 20, told MintPress.

    “But people who believed in the current electoral system just days ago are changing. They feel betrayed.”

     

    A very positive sign’

    Organizers agree that the massive outpouring of post-election opposition, the scale of which is unprecedented in U.S. history, bodes well for both protests on Jan. 20 and the prospects for grassroots mobilization during the Trump administration.

    The gatherings have dwarfed much smaller protests against the contested election of George W. Bush in 2000, while Barack Obama’s victory in 2008 saw little public opposition.

    “These actions are overwhelmingly composed of young people who are completely fed up with the injustice and bigotry that Trump represents,” Smolarek said.

    “Many have been organized spontaneously on very short notice. We consider this a very positive sign.”

    “People who have never been in the streets before suddenly feel compelled to act,” Flounders said.

    “They hated both choices. The election campaign exposed the corruption and decay of all political institutions in the U.S.”

    The inauguration is only the beginning of what promises to be a tumultuous administration.

    “We have tentatively started to plan a nationwide 100 days of action that would start with ‘J20,’” Ashley said.

    “Pressure from people’s movements must be kept alive and continue to grow in an effort to produce real, systemic and lasting change.”

     

    A radical shift’

    The scale of resistance under Trump may depend on his actions in office, whether they continue the bellicose, often offensive rhetoric of his campaign or settle into a more predictable presidential routine.

    But his initial steps toward a transition into the Oval Office — particularly his unexpected appointments to key roles — indicate that his administration may prove less conventional than many had anticipated.

    “As the Trump administration begins to take shape, it is becoming more and more clear that he has no intention of ‘draining the swamp’ and will fail to live up to the hopes of those who supported him under the impression that he was the ‘change candidate,’” Smolarek said.

    The election itself, an unusually toxic one that left most voters without a nominee they felt they could actually support, may render the prospects of demobilization unlikely.

    “There has been a radical shift in the thinking of millions of people and a shift in what they are willing to do,” Flounders said.

    “There is motion that can not be channeled into the corrupt electoral system.”

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    • shandy1

      I hope the left has every reason to be scared.

    • James Wherry

      Fight all you want. Now see President-elect’s middle east foreign policy and I approve!

      “During one of his “thank-you” tour stops, Donald Trump announced on Dec. 1 (at 1:28:13-1:29:15):

      “We will pursue a new foreign policy that finally learns from the mistakes of the past. We will stop looking to topple regimes and overthrow governments, folks. Remember – $6 trillion, 6 trillion [spent] in the Middle East, 6 trillion. Our goal is stability not chaos, because we want to rebuild our country [the United States]. It’s time, it’s time. We will partner with any nation that is willing to join us in the effort to defeat ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism – okay, we have to say the term, have to say the term. In our dealings with other countries, we will seek shared interests wherever possible and pursue a new era of peace, understanding, and good will.”

      http://www.danielpipes.org/17140/trump-middle-east-policy-revealed?utm_source=Middle+East+Forum&utm_campaign=b7b8512206-DP_CAMPAIGN_2016_12_29&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_086cfd423c-b7b8512206-33720713&goal=0_086cfd423c-b7b8512206-33720713

    • Bostonterrier97

      IDIOTS! Gather together 1 Million Liberals: have them EACH contribute $20 to a fund. Use $1 million dollars of this fund to donate as a “campaign contribution” to every Republican Senator to block specific pieces of Legislation and Presto! Congress doesn’t get many pieces of Conservative Legislation passed into law.

    • sdk7148

      This is ridiculous and such a waste of energy. HRC was more pro-war and pro-Wall Street than Trump. Trump said women let famous men grope them. And he is wrong? Go to bed princess and dream about the sexual and phallic symbolism in Disney movies. HRC lied to Congress, cheated in debates, has made money directly because of her political position, and was under criminal investigation by the FBI for the majority of her campaign. The Clinton’s do not provide a product or service beyond speeches to become millionaires. So cry a river. I voted for Obama twice and WJC twice. Never voted for HRC. This escapade of promoting a corrupt DNC that destroyed the Democratic Party by sponsoring HRC in spite of her many flaws will only help Trump and send Democrats to oblivion. Write a song, an article or a book. But, these childish poor-loser protests are going to be the undoing of the Democrats. Watch and see ….

    • Mark Beneda

      From the article: “They hated both choices. The election campaign exposed the corruption and decay of all political institutions in the U.S.” Like they would be protesting the corruption in politics if Hillary would have won. I don’t think so.

    • disqus_5T2jXBEN10

      Boo Hoo, I was wondering where all these “racist” who voted for Trump were when Barry was elected???
      The good thing about the Left uniting is they will find out how obnoxious they all are and kill each other.

    • duncanmc

      Let them protest if they stay peaceful. If they riot and begin destroying property or harming others, they should be beaten down and arrested. It’s their choice. Peaceful protest is a right. Violent rioting is not.

    • John C Carleton

      As one who’s State has been occupied by the USA for one hundred and fifty one years, he is not mine either. Course, no matter who the machine installed in the big white Cat House, located in Sodom and Gomorrah on the potomac, i was not planning on blocking traffic and bothering people with demonstrations, unlike these losers who would be floating around in a warm “safe zone” glow, if the bribe taking Pizza Gate Priestess, billary Klinton had been installed as head Madam in the Cat House.

    • Norm
      • Guest51

        #Notmypresident #period

        • Norm

          Moving to Canada, eh?

          • roccolore

            Democrats were promising a mass exodus to Canada. Then they said they were joking.

        • 7.62x54r

          So, perhaps you would rather the CIA and or Pentagon have full, uncontested control?

        • roccolore

          You are not an American.

          • tapatio

            You should talk, ZIOPIG?

            • roccolore

              The only pig is you.

              • tapatio

                Pitiful, easy-bake.

                • roccolore

                  No surprise that you blame Jews for everything.

        • James Wherry

          Trump sure is MY President – even though I did not vote for him. Now see President-elect’s middle east foreign policy and I approve!

          “During one of his “thank-you” tour stops, Donald Trump announced on Dec. 1 (at 1:28:13-1:29:15):

          “We will pursue a new foreign policy that finally learns from the mistakes of the past. We will stop looking to topple regimes and overthrow governments, folks. Remember – $6 trillion, 6 trillion [spent] in the Middle East, 6 trillion. Our goal is stability not chaos, because we want to rebuild our country [the United States]. It’s time, it’s time. We will partner with any nation that is willing to join us in the effort to defeat ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism – okay, we have to say the term, have to say the term. In our dealings with other countries, we will seek shared interests wherever possible and pursue a new era of peace, understanding, and good will.”

          http://www.danielpipes.org/17140/trump-middle-east-policy-revealed?utm_source=Middle+East+Forum&utm_campaign=b7b8512206-DP_CAMPAIGN_2016_12_29&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_086cfd423c-b7b8512206-33720713&goal=0_086cfd423c-b7b8512206-33720713

      • TecumsehUnfaced

        Good going! You found the level you can handle… but you still miss the point. Were you born this way?

      • tapatio

        Spoken like a true member of the Jew cult that profits from the destruction of civilization.

      • James Wherry

        Two thumbs up! I am saving this one for my own use!