Huge rallies to protest Trump’s inauguration
Anti-Trump rally. Mark Lennihan | AP

WASHINGTON — Led by unions, women’s rights activists and health care organizations, hundreds of thousands of people are preparing to hold a march and rally here January 21, the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration. Participants will march to protect the right of reproductive choice and to protest plans by Trump and the GOP to suppress that right.

At the same time, marches and rallies will be held across the nation.

Many of the organizations participating in the marches have already launched long terms plans of resistance to the Trump administration. They aim to fight Trump’s every attempt to rollback progress that has been made toward social equality and economic justice.

The Washington, D.C. march will also put the spotlight on Trump’s history of misogyny, his record of harassment of women, his anti-worker plans and his Cabinet picks.

“We will send a strong message to the incoming administration that millions of people across this country are prepared to fight attacks on reproductive health care, abortion services, and access to Planned Parenthood, as they intersect with the rights of young people, people of color, immigrants, and people of all faiths, backgrounds, and incomes,” Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, said in a statement.

Planned Parenthood is running the logistics, safety, security, volunteers and digital promotion of the march.

The Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), the AFL-CIO and many unions are helping to coordinate the march and will bring their members to it.

Gloria Steinem and Harry Belafonte are scheduled to speak.

Meanwhile, “sister marches” will be held nationwide, including events in Chicago, Champaign-Urbana, Ill., St. Louis, Kansas City, St. Paul, Minn., Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and in eight other California cities. Marches will also be held in Portland, Eugene and four other Oregon cities, in Grand Rapids, Mich., at the United Nations in New York City and at state capitols in Juneau, Alaska, Trenton, N.J., and Honolulu.

UniteforAmerica/#NotMyPresident is planning protests in additional cities.

Another march is being planned for inauguration day, January 20, by the Legalization For All Network. Participants will protest Trump’s plans to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, deport all 11 million undocumented immigrants, cut off federal funds to sanctuary cities and repeal President Obama’s executive order protecting undocumented people brought here as children.

“Trump ran a racist campaign,” a statement from the Network says, “calling Mexicans ‘rapists, criminals, and drug dealers.’”

The statement points out that once before a people’s movement stopped a draconian anti-immigrant plan.

In December 2005, the statement reads, the GOP-run U.S. House approved legislation “criminalizing the undocumented.” But after more than a million people protested the following spring, the legislation died.’

“[Today] a similar mass movement is needed to stop Trump’s attacks on the undocumented,” the network declared.

While they are working to plan the march, many organizations are kicking off programs to aid people in fighting Trump’s plans to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

For example, Raising Women’s Voices is posting a daily graphic showing how various provisions of the ACA enhance women’s health care.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and three other groups have formed the Protect Our [Health] Care Coalition.

Moreover, the SEIU and AFSCME have launched a joint program to protect Medicare and Medicaid. The GOP has both programs in its crosshairs.

What’s more, National Nurses United is resuming its campaign for a single-payer national health care system.

And several boycott movements such as #GrabYourWallet are identifying businesses that carry pro-Trump merchandise, companies with financial ties to Trump, corporations whose executives back Trump and firms with digital ads on pro-Trump websites.

Summing up the goal of these actions and movements, CLUW Executive Director Carol Rosenblatt declared in an e-mail to members “We will [send] an historic message to the new administration: that we will not turn back.!


CONTRIBUTOR

Mark Gruenberg
Mark Gruenberg

Mark Gruenberg is the editor of Press Associates Inc. (PAI), a union news service in Washington, D.C.

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