Sunday, November 13, 2016

We Are Better Than This - Not My President Demo!

This graffiti speaks to how so many of us feel - like falling into an inferno.

Erik R. McGregor‎ took this picture of us. 
"Protest has become a family affair
 #RebelFriends — in New York, New York."

One of the values of the presidency is the bully pulpit.  This was a place where Lincoln talked about the better angels of our nature, who seem to have taken the first train out of town.

FDR talked about fighting for the four freedoms – from want and fear, for speech and freedom to worship in whatever way one wants. These are American ideas.

They were inclusive narratives, which still matter today.  They continue to remind us of what we have been and can be before. 

Adding to these narratives, we converged on the streets on Saturday. 
The call for the rally explained:

Join us in the streets! Stop Trump and his bigoted agenda!
Meet you at Union Sq. at 12pm and march to Trump Tower (725 5th Ave) at 2pm.

Divided is the reason we just fell. We must unite despite our differences to stop HATE from ruling the land.

Bring signs, snacks, water! Be safe!
This is a peaceful protest. Violence/vandalism will not be tolerated

Saturday, we found our way to 5th Avenue, where protesters were everyone, as far as the eye could see.  Some wonder why these stories matter.  All I can say is they draw a line.  Civil society runs the show. Its our best hope.  Our mutual aid grown when look out for each other, to make sure we have each other’s back, and call for a more abundant narrative of true democracy.

Walking up 5th to Trump Tower people carried Black Lives Matter signs. Chant after chant, beginning with the pro choice anthem:

Keep you hands, off her body. 

We reject the president elect.

No Hate, No Fear.  Immigrants are Welcome Here.

We are the popular vote.

Not my president, not my president!

No human being is illegal!

Pay your taxes, we pay ours!

Hey you fascist, pay your taxes.

Hands too small, can’t build a wall!

Fuck your tower, fuck your wall.

We want a president, not a fucking racist.

Pussy grabs back!

Marching, a few of us cracked a smile and talked.  We all know there is a lot of work to do.
Marching does not preclude that work.  Its part of the process.   Along the way, hopefully we can take care of each other.  We can laugh as we crawl out from the wreckage. 

  By the time we were done, the police reported some 25,000 people had made it out.

The rallies would continue all weekend long.

Make the Road New York Banner
Contact (English / Spanish):

Natalia Aristizabal, 917-754-3081,
Daniel Altschuler,
Massive Protest of 15,000 Immigrant New Yorkers Tells Trump: We Are #HereToStay! 
Make the Road New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, and allies lead major rally and march outside Trump Hotel to kick off resistance to any attacks on immigrant communities 
Link to photos:  HeretoStay March Photos
NEW YORK (November 13th, 2016) -  On Sunday, 15,000+ immigrant New Yorkers and allies rallied outside the Trump International Hotel in midtown Manhattan and marched to Trump Hotel to send a clear message to Donald Trump: we are here to stay, and we will not let you tear our families apart. Led by a 20-foot banner proclaiming, "Aquí estamos, y no nos vamos!" (which translates to "we are here, and we are not going anywhere") and energized by a series of defiant chants, the march featured immigrant youth and adults sharing their determination to resist and organize against the anti-immigrant efforts of Donald Trump. Immigrant New Yorkers also committed themselves to fighting to keep New York a sanctuary city for all immigrants.
The protest was organized by immigrant rights organizations Make the Road New York, Make the Road New Jersey, Make the Road Connecticut, and Make the Road Pennsylvania, and sponsored by dozens of other groups (list below). The mobilization provided the clearest evidence yet that New Yorkers and communities across the country are standing up in resistance to the anti-immigrant agenda that Mr. Trump has pledged to enact as President—which would include stripping immigrant youth of protected status from deportations and tearing apart millions of families through mass deportation.
Participants in the protest declared their determination to fight for immigrant families throughout the Trump presidency:
Zuleima Dominguez, member of Make the Road New York and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipientsaid: "I feel tremendously frustrated and to know that President-elect Donald Trump will try to fulfill the threats that he has launched against our community throughout his campaign. As a DACA recipient, Trump’s pledge to revoke DACA in his first 100 days as President would affect me because I would lose my work permit and be forced to live in fear of being separated from my family. I would be afraid to leave my home, and it would be hard for me to continue with my education, given that I could no longer apply for scholarships that require a social security number. But I am committed to resisting his anti-immigrant presidency and fighting for my family and my community. We are here to stay, and we will continue to demand respect and dignity and to keep New York City a sanctuary for all immigrants."
Teresa Díaz, member of Make the Road New Jersey, asserted:  As an immigrant mother of two beautiful US citizen daughters, I woke up to my worst nightmare on Wednesday morning. But I'm marching today to show that I'm not afraid, that our community is strong and that we will fight back against any and every plan this next administration has to separate us from our families.” 
Elizabeth Rodríguez, member of Make the Road Pennsylvaniaaffirmed: "I have traveled to protest in front of the Trump hotel today because, like many others, I'm angry. But I am committed to channeling my anger as fuel to fight against the injustices Trump has pledged against our community. We will not allow families to be torn apart simply because of their religious affiliation or immigration status. Trump has threatened to violate the rights of millions, including myself, as an LGBTQ Latina woman. Today we pledge to unite and organize to prevent these things from happening. We are part of a movement that cannot be stopped!"
Javier H. Valdés, Co-Executive Director of Make the Road New York,  said: “Immigrants are here to stay, and we will not be moved—from our city, from our state, or from our country. We are dedicated to stopping Trump from enacting his hateful agenda, and we will fight to ensure that New York City remains a sanctuary for all immigrants.”
32BJ President Hector Figueroa said: "We reject Trump’s racist and xenophobic words of hate and division and will do everything we can to stand with, support and protect the most vulnerable among us, including undocumented immigrants. This election has only strengthened our resolve as a union to stand with immigrant families—whether they are our members or not—and tell them we will fight for their rights and to keep their families together."
Kica Matos, director of immigrant rights and racial justice at the Center for Community Change Action (CCC Action)affirmed: “The immigrant rights movement is gearing up for what lies ahead. We will do everything within our power to protect our community. We will use every tool at our disposal – from litigation to direct legal assistance to legislative advocacy to fierce advocacy to protect our communities from any illegal, inhumane and unjust actions from Trump and his Administration. We will create an army of defenders who will be in every community and every corner of this nation, fighting to keep our families together. We will call on all lawmakers, regardless of party affiliation, to stand together and protect our immigrant families. Our communities will not be defeated. We will remain strong and united and together, we will prevail.”
Ana Maria Archila, co-executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy,asserted: "Donald Trump, the man who won the electoral college vote earlier this week, has run a virulently divisive presidential campaign founded on hate for immigrants, Muslims, people of color, women, and members of the LGBT community. He has repeatedly promised to adopt laws and implement measures that threaten to rip apart the families of immigrants and destroy our livelihoods. We reject his hate and refuse to live in constant fear under a president who does not regard us as human. Today’s rally and march marks our first, though certainly not last, line of resistance against Trump's brutal anti-immigrant regime. The Center for Popular Democracy and the 43 organizations we convene will implement an aggressive to strategy to protect immigrants from Trump's anti-immigrant agenda, and we will work with allies in government to ensure that people feel safe and welcome in their own communities."
Alyssa Aguilera, Co-Executive Director, VOCAL-NY, asserted: "We will not let Donald Trump and his cronies strike fear in our hearts and take the fight out of our movement. We are proud to be immigrants and we will work harder than ever to protect each other. Our voices will not be silenced and our families are here to stay." 
Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition  stated: “We join today's rally to say clearly to President-elect Trump that immigrant communities are not going anywhere. The success of America’s immigrant communities is the success of America. We call on him to repair his ugly campaign record that has thrown immigrant communities – a full 42 million people in the United States, and more than four million in New York – under the bus. We will hold him accountable every step of the way and further strengthen our efforts to combat anti-immigrant hate and educate the greater public about the immense contributions that immigrant communities have made to this nation."
Afua Atta-Mensah, Executive Director of Community Voices Heard, stated:  “Trump's rhetoric and policies pose an immediate threat to our communities, neighbors, and families. We will not allow his racist xenophobic agenda to go forward unchecked. Community Voices Heard stands ready to fight Trump's agenda. We will not be silenced.”
Juan Antigua, New York City Political Director of the New York Working Families Party, said: "The last few days have been frightening and painful as we anticipate a Trump presidency and what it means for our communities. Our first priority must be to defend those New Yorkers imminently endangered by Donald Trump's agenda of deportation, bigotry, and division. The Working Families Party stands with our families and neighbors and will do everything in our power to protect immigrant families from being torn apart. We must make New York a bulwark against Trumpism."
Darius Gordon, Lead Organizer for Citizen Action of New Yorksaid: "Donald Trump's racist rhetoric has already put the lives of countless people in danger. But we will not allow him to use his new found power to hurt us, our families, our children or our communities. This is our city, our state and our country, and we are here to stay."
Marie Pierre, Chair of New York Communities for Change, said: "I had to move away from my country because of the theft of our resources and cheap labor by corporations and the 1 percent who made it impossible to survive. If we want to make America great again, then we need to stop the 1 percent from exploiting workers here in the US and around the globe."
Fahd Ahmed, Executive Director of DRUM (Desis Rising Up & Moving), said: "As an organization of South Asian immigrants, mostly of whom are Muslims and most of whom are undocumented, we are concerned that the infrastructure of surveillance and deportation developed by the current administration will be handed over to the Trump administration. But we are also resolved that we are not only 'here to stay', but also 'here to fight' in solidarity with Black, Latino, LGBTQ, women, and worker communities."
Maria Bautista, Campaign Coordinator of the Alliance for Quality Education , said: "We reject Donald Trump's xenophobic and racist ideologies. We reject his scapegoating and fear-mongering rhetoric, which has negatively impacted the lives of immigrants around the county. We stand with our immigrant brothers and sisters today to say: ¡Aquí estamos y no nos vamos!"
Jesus Gonzalez of Churches United for Fair Housing (CUFFH) , stated: "Churches have always been a safe haven for immigrant families. We unite to defend our neighbors and the congregations from Trump's proposed discriminatory, racists and dangerous policies which includes stripping DREAMers of protected status from deportations and tearing apart millions of families through mass deportation."
Groups involved in the protest included Make the Road New York, Make the Road New Jersey, Make the Road Connecticut, and Make the Road Pennsylvania, the Urban Youth Collaborative, Alliance for Quality Education, New York Communities for Change, VOCAL-NY, Strong Economy for All Coalition, Citizen Action of New York, Working Families Party, Community Voices Heard, T'ruah, Justice League NYC, ALIGN, New York Immigration Coalition, New York City Anti-Violence Project, Congregation Kolot Chayeinu, NYC DSA, CUNY Dreamers, DRUM, Communities United for Police Reform, Churches United For Fair Housing (CUFFH), N.Y.U. Review of Law & Social Change, NYU's LaLSA, NYU Law Immigrant Rights Project, Global Action Project, DRUM, and The Muslim Law Student Association at NYU Law.


No comments:

Post a Comment