Community, Park Forest

Be Courageous or Be Complicit

OREGON–(ENEWSPF)–January 15, 2017

By Susan Grigsby

Source: motherjones

Got plans for later this week? Like maybe a root canal? Or perhaps just a thorough house cleaning? There must be something better to do than spend time watching the final normalization of that which should never have happened—but did, thanks in large part to the machinations of a foreign power and FBI Director James Comey.

The good news is that there is plenty to do this week that is far less painful than oral surgery and less tedious than cleaning toilets. Kossacks around the country are organizing and participating in acts of protest. Check the daily diary from the folks at Connect! Unite! Act! for events near you.

Washington, D.C., will be hosting not just the inauguration of the most despicable character to ever claim the title of president, but thousands of Americans who are intent on voicing their resistance to him. What follows is a brief look at a few of the movements behind those protesters.

#InauguratetheResistance is scheduled for Jan. 20 beginning at 7:00 AM. Permits have been secured for Freedom Plaza and the Navy Memorial along the inauguration parade route.

This protest is being organized by the ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Coalition, which was formed in reaction to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and the rush to war in Iraq. They held one of the largest anti-war demonstrations that the nation has never heard of on October 26, 2002 when 200,000 people showed up to protest in Washington, D.C. A few months later in January 2003, they joined with other anti-war protesters for what the Washington Post described “as the largest antiwar protest since the end of the Vietnam War” as 500,000 rallied on the Mall.

The purpose of this demonstration is explained on the group’s website:

This country needs a real political revolution. Millions of people feel entirely disenfranchised by a political system that delivered the least favorable and trusted candidates in U.S. history. Many hoped that the Bernie Sanders campaign would represent a new direction and opportunity to take on entrenched power and extreme inequality, for a higher minimuim wage, to defend Social Security, rebuild the labor movement, provide universal health care and free tuition.

That campaign was largely suppressed, but its end does not change the desires and aspirations of tens of millions of people, workers and youth in particular, who are demanding real change. On Inauguration Day, thousands will be in the streets to give voice to the millions of people in this country who are demanding systemic change.

Their Facebook page is here.

#Trump420 is being used by the DCMJ as a name for their Inauguration day activities. Their plans call for the handing out of 4,200 marijuana joints and having everyone light up at four minutes and twenty seconds into Trump’s speech. Be advised, should you choose to accept a proffered joint, that while it is legal to grow and possess weed in the District (if you are over 21), it is not legal to sell it, or to smoke it in public. Nor is it legal to possess it on federal land, which includes the National Mall.

According to an article in the Washington DC Patch:

The D.C. Cannabis Campaign is planning to hand out 4,200 joints of marijuana on Inauguration Day as a protest of federal laws against pot. Organizers plan to meet in Dupont Circle and march to the National Mall on Friday morning, handing out weed along the way.

DCMJ, according to their website, became the DC Cannabis Campaign that successfully lobbied for the decriminalization of possession of marijuana in the District. Since then, the website has continued to provide a “community for cannabis users, growers and their families.”

DisruptJ20 is a weeklong event run by hardcore anarchists that begins with training for participants as well as discussion groups leading up to the disruption of the inauguration on Jan. 20.

From their Call to Action:

We call on all people of good conscience to join in disrupting the ceremonies. If Trump is to be inaugurated at all, let it happen behind closed doors, showing the true face of the security state Trump will preside over. It must be made clear to the whole world that the vast majority of people in the United States do not support his presidency or consent to his rule.

While I wholeheartedly agree that the vast majority, or at least most Americans, do not support his presidency or consent to his rule, disrupting the ceremonies likely won’t do much more than result in the quiet (or violent) arrests of the participants.

An anti-nuclear weapons group is planning a “Homes not Bombs” march and concert for Thursday, Jan. 19 at Franklin Square in the District, a few blocks from where the parade will take place on Friday.

The Jan. 19 event, featuring a full lineup of speakers and live music, will run from noon to 8 p.m. Speakers will include Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential candidate; Medea Benjamin of Code Pink; Colonel Ann Wright; radical attorney Stanley Cohen; Margaret Flowers; Paul De Rienzo; Frank Morales; Cheri Honkala; Kevin Zeese; Vermin Supreme; Penley, Wright and others.

Performing musicians will include Rebel Diaz, Room Full of Strangers, Lauren DiGioia and more.

If you can’t be in D.C., there are no local protests planned, and you are dreading the thought of watching the inauguration of this self-aggrandizing blowhard, there is an alternative, as reported by CNN:

Love-a-thon will be a three-hour Facebook Live broadcast, beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET on inauguration day, January 20. The move is a part of an effort to raise money for three organizations — the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, Planned Parenthood and Earthjustice.

The organizations notably focus on topics ranging from preserving civil rights and preventing climate change to fighting for women’s reproductive rights. These are hot button topics that came under fire during President-elect Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Celebrities such as Jane Fonda, Jamie Lee Curtis, Judd Apatow, Patricia Arquette, Christopher Guest and Tim Robbins are taking part. Singer Jeff Tweedy of Wilco will also join.

#NotMyPresident, a Facebook group, is planning a silent protest in front of the U.S. Capitol building. Their FB page shows that 20,000 are planning on showing up wearing attire or carrying signs that say “Not My President.” Since they have no permits for a march or a rally, no one is quite sure what to expect from this group, which was started by college students.

A group of millennials, many of whom supported Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary race, has taken up what they hope is permanent residence in the city. They hope to rent a house—dubbed District 13, as in the Hunger Games—that will be open to all movements who wish to protest the incoming administration. From the Guardian’s report:

District 13 will be open to activist groups around the country who wish to demonstrate in the capital, Ahmed said. The house is inspired by movement houses from the civil rights era, which served as a safe haven for people to plan marches and protests.

People from ethnic-minority activist groups, such as African Americans for Bernie and Color of Change, are involved in planning for the movement house, while climate change and minimum wage campaigners have also contributed.

The group, known as Millennials for Revolution, has launched a crowdfunding campaign which has reached over $42,000 of its $60,000 goal to support the house for its first year.

The biggest demonstration promises to bring 200,000 people to the nation’s capital and will be held on the day after the inauguration on Saturday, Jan. 21. The Women’s March on Washington sprang up as an idea that several people had immediately after the election results were announced. They combined their efforts and after an initial stumble over the naming of the event, they have organized what looks like the big daddy of protest marches during the inauguration weekend.

“We know that we stand on the shoulders of giants, and we are thrilled to welcome Ms. Steinem and Mr. Belafonte as honorary co-chairs,” said co-chair Linda Sarsour. “Alongside our new partner Planned Parenthood, together we are bridging the historical struggles for women’s rights and civil rights to the current intersectional movement for dignity and human rights.”

The protests will not occur only in Washington, D.C. Sister marches are planned in 281 cities, with expected participation clocking in at about 600,000. Check the Women’s March website and the Connect! Unite! Act! diaries for a march near you.

Be courageous or be complicit.

It was the angry phone calls from committed citizens that put an end to the castration of the Congressional Ethics Office. Loud protests postponed the hearings for some of Trump’s cabinet picks.

Silence implies consent. The time has come to take action. There is no longer any middle ground. As Jim Hightower put it, “There is nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos.”

So . . . what are your plans next weekend?


Related Article:

Women’s March on Chicago Announces Speakers, March Route, and Rally Details

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