Protesters Rally Against Trump One Year After Inauguration

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Carly Behm | The PHOENIX

About 1,000 protesters marched Sunday to show resistance toward President Donald Trump’s administration and his policies.

The rally, called “Shut Down Racism, War and Bigotry,” on Facebook, was organized by 31 cosponsors, including Black Lives Women of Faith, Answer Chicago and People United Against Oppression. Other cosponsors included socialist organizations, cultural groups and local groups.

Protesters came to resist Trump’s attitudes toward minorities, immigrants and racism.

A recent Gallup Poll shows Trump’s approval ratings at 38.4 percent — one of the lowest first-year approval ratings in recorded history.

Since Trump was inaugurated, some people have been concerned about his administration and policies he’s pushed for. In the past year, Trump has supported legislation that targeted immigrants, the transgender community, Muslims and environmental regulations.

Other people took issue with his response to racial violence in Charlottesville, Virginia and allegations against him of sexual assault. Recently, Trump came under fire for allegedly referring to African and Latin American nations as “shithole countries.”

Demonstrators gathered around 1 p.m. near Trump International Hotel and Tower at Wacker Drive and Wabash Avenue. Representatives from cosponsoring groups spoke to the crowd about their anger with Trump’s policies and injustices against minorities.

After about an hour of speeches, demonstrators marched south down Michigan Avenue and turned west on Jackson Boulevard to the Chicago Board of Trade, where speeches continued. Throughout the rally, speakers led the crowd in chanting a variety of slogans such as “No Trump, no KKK, no racist U.S.A.” and “No hate, no fear, refugees are welcome here.”

This protest came a day after the Women’s March Jan. 20. While the Women’s March focused on gender equality and empowering women, Sunday’s rally brought attention to other issues and the importance of being proactive in the resistance.

Answer Chicago coordinator John Beacham spoke at the rally and led the march to the Chicago Board of Trade. He said he thinks socialists can play a role in the movement to fight Trump.

“Socialism is actually very important in a moment like this because it’s growing in popularity,” Beacham said. “People have serious questions about capitalism, but socialism for me is just about people being able to get what they need through sharing and cooperation and socialists have traditionally been a very fundamental part of movements like this.”

Jay Becker is part of Refuse Fascism Chicago, one of the event’s cosponsors, and he said he notices parallels between Trump and other fascist regimes.

“We say [Trump is] fascist because he has no respect for the rule of law, for the courts and even before his election, he refused to say he would recognize the results, if he lost,” Becker said. “All of these are in line with a fascist attitude, and they are destroying so much of what progressive people have fought for over decades and generations in this country. His attacks on the free press, calling it the enemy of the people — that is a direct translation from Hitler. So it’s a unique threat and that’s why we’re here.”

Robert Grillo, founder of Free From Harm, said he emphasized the importance of intersectionality.

“I think intersectionality is the next wave of social progress in seeing justice for all,” Grillo, 52, said. “We really have to see beyond just ourselves and co-exist with other species and what we have on this planet.”

Nia Anderson, 21, said she hopes people will take action in politics long after Trump’s presidency ends.

“After we get [Trump] out of office, the government itself needs to change,” the Robert Morris University student said. “Our involvement as people needs to increase because the government led us to this, so we need to have more input into our government.”

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