Posted onOctober 12, 2018
Thousands of protesters take to streets of London, with demos planned in Scotland.
There were cheers as the Trump baby blimp – a six-metre (20ft) tall inflatable with small hands, a tiny mobile phone and a giant nappy – took to the air in Parliament Square on Friday morning, as a day of protest against the US president got under way.
The inflatable took to the air at precisely 9.30am outside the Palace of Westminster. Campaigners had raised more than £29,000 to pay for it and the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, had given permission for it to fly.
Hundreds of protesters and curious tourists watched the blimp rise, ushered by the self-styled “Trump babysitters” – who came together to take the demonstration to the skies.
About 15 minutes earlier there was excitement on the ground as two military helicopters passed overhead; the blimp was fully inflated but moored to the ground. “Quick, turn him around,” a cry went up, but organisers said he was not allowed to take to the air before 9.30am. If Trump had been in the helicopter and looking out of the window, he might have caught a glance of Baby Blimp’s behind.
Sheila Menon, one of the Trump babysitters, said the protest was the perfect antidote to the misery created by president. “For me this is British political satire at it’s finest,” she said. “You can’t dismiss this as childish or offensive. It is a creative, safe and non-violent way to make a real political statement and hold oppressors to account.”
As the blimp went up, a visitor told one of the organisers: “As an American it means so much to us that you have done this. Thank you so much.”
The idea of the blimp originated with a group of friends and was put in motion by the London activist Leo Murray, who set up an online campaign with the hope of raising £5,000; the figure stands at £29,000 and counting. Murray has now said the money could be spent sending the inflatable to other places where people want to protest against Trump’s presence, and may make its way to Australia, where the US leader is expected to make a trip in November.
Tens of thousands of protesters are expected to take to the streets in London on Friday, with further demonstrations planned for this weekend in Scotland. At midday protesters gathered by the Women’s March at Portland Place began marching to a rally at Trafalgar Square. Another protest organised by Together Against Trump, which includes trade unions, Stop the War, Friends of the Earth, CND and Momentum, will meet at the BBC’s headquarters at 2pm, ending at 5pm in Trafalgar Square.
Many protesters had travelled a long way to attend: the Rev Nigel Sinclair had come from Leeds for the #TrumpBabyBlimp protest. “I wanted to make sure middle England was represented,” he said. “[Trump’s] politics are obscene, whether it is his treatment of women or immigrants, and I felt like I had to make the journey to take part. I think it’s fantastic. It’s a very British response to a horrible world leader.”
DD Davis, a political artist, was wearing a Trump badge she made herself. “He is very interactive,” said Davis, demonstrating it. “When you stab him in the goolies his eyes light up.”
She added: “Any political leader who expresses the hate he does has to be challenged. Whether we like it or not, he is the leader of the free world and he legitimises hatred – we have to try and counter that.”
Holding up a handmade sign which said: “Keep your tiny hands off our Queen,” Joe Revill had taken the day off work to protest. “I felt I needed to be counted,” he said. “With his misogyny and racism he [Trump] is besmirching the institution of the presidency. He is tainting it and that will have a lasting damage.”
THE RELUCTANT RADICAL
Sunday, July 22 and Monday, July 23 at 7pm
Newport Performing Arts Center
If a crime is committed in order to prevent a greater crime, is it forgivable? Is it, in fact, necessary? THE RELUCTANT RADICAL follows activist Ken Ward as he confronts his fears and puts himself in the direct path of the fossil fuel industry to combat climate change.
Oregon filmmaker Lindsey Grayzel and film subject Ken Ward will be in attendance on both nights for post-film Q&A. Local environmental and faith groups will share information and opportunities in the lobby.
These film screenings are presented at the Newport PAC as part of the Bijou Theater Newport Film Series, with support from Central Coast Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Central Oregon Coast NOW Foundation, and anonymous donors.
A large crowd of coast residents gathered outside Newport City Hall Saturday to strongly protest the treatment of Latin American refugees as they are housed in tent cities around the country while children are snatched from their parents as punishment for daring to seek asylum in the U.S. The Trump administration has clearly admitted that the traumatic separation of children from their families is aimed squarely at sending a message to other Latin American refugees, that if they want to lose their children, and maybe never see them again, just try to get across the U.S.- Mexico border. It has created moral and angry outrage among millions upon millions of Americans who contend that such atrocities should not be attributed to the American people – rather it is the tactics of an angry White House playing to it’s political base that would build “The Wall” if called upon to do it.
They walked out of their classrooms at 10 am for 17 minutes to honor and remember the Parkland, Florida students.
17 young lives were lost. 17 lives were wasted on February 14th, one month ago today. Students had a microphone to speak to share their thoughts in tribute with each other.
Thank you so much, to the Lincoln County School Administration’s support in making this a sacred and safe event for our children! The pain is unbearable; we must focus and protest the inaction on guns. Columbine was almost 20 years ago and it goes on. Enough is enough! #neveragain
The good, the adorable, and the witty.
BY GLORIA TUCKER Of the News-Times
Honks resounded and traffic crawled as about 1,600 people in pink hats, and carrying signs and flags crowded Newport City Hall on Saturday, Jan. 21.
The men, women and children at city hall joined millions of people across the United States who assembled to support the Women’s March on Washington, D.C. Throughout the morning, Newport Community Drum Circle performed on the front steps of the city hall as marchers arrived. Despite cold wind and rain, the march began at noon down Highway 101 to the Hallmark Resort where a rally and speeches followed.
Tables for advocacy groups set up in the hotel’s lower lobby provided more information on issues and encouraged enrollment.
“Our local march identified three specific things we want to focus our intentions on — protecting the environment, protecting civil rights and protecting vulnerable communities,” organizer Trina Kosydar said. “It’s important to know that everyone is marching with their own intentions, though.”
Kosydar said separating the march from President Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday is impossible.
“This is not an anti-Trump march, this is a pro-women march,” she emphasized. “But there are a lot of feelings (that) are mixed in there.”
Rally emcee Franki Trujillo-Dalbey said the local march was conceived weeks earlier when people talked about taking buses to Portland to join the march in the city.
“We said we need to have a local presence,” she said. “We need to show everyone in Lincoln County we are stronger together, and we’re not going to take it anymore.” Organizations involved in creating the march were the Central Oregon Branch of the National Organization of Women (NOW), the Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) of Lincoln County, the Diversity Coalition of Lincoln County and the Lincoln County Democratic Central Committee.
Protesters carrying large, cardboard replicas of President Donald Trump walk toward the Hallmark Resort in Newport during the Stronger Together March on Saturday, Jan. 21. (Photo by Nathan Howard)
“We’re hoping to bring some unity to this community and show people that they are not alone,” Kosydar said, “that there is a like-minded group of folks out there, that women are strong and fi erce, and that together we can do anything.” Marchers Mickie Lindquist and Gaelyn Matthews said they joined because they want to support women’s rights.
“We hope Trump listens,” Matthews added. Trujillo-Dalbey said she participated for personal reasons. “I’m a second generation Latina,” she said. “My family has lived in Toledo for nearly 100 years. We’re one of the fi rst Latino families in Oregon. The most recent numbers say there’s about 9 percent of Latinos in Lincoln County.”
Trujillo-Dalbey said from the beginning of Trump’s campaign, she felt attacked. “He called us rapists, murderers and drug dealers, violent and lazy,” she said. “The pain I feel for fellow Latinos and the fear I feel personally has been real, but not as real as it is for my undocumented brothers and sisters. As a nasty woman, I’ve been assaulted by his words and actions.”
Trujillo-Dalbey said she feels like the gains made in the past are in danger.
“This isn’t just about Latinos,” she said. “It’s about every person on an equal opportunity list, whether you’re a senior citizen in danger of losing Medicare or a child in danger of losing public school. (My family) talked seriously about leaving the country, but the more we met with people in our local community, the more I realize how much support there is for making change and preserving rights. We decided to stay.”
She said watching the local march and all the other marches has been empowering.
“I do have a sense of renewed hope,” she said. “We are stronger together today. We are stronger together. We can fight back. We can take back our democracy, decency and common humanity.”
Kosydar said the community enthusiasm has inspired her as well.
“People have been giving us private donations, which has helped us cover the venue costs and the cost of signs,” she said. “The Newport Police Department has been beautiful working with us. City hall and the chamber of commerce have worked with us too. It’s just been a real community event.”
At the rally, Jenn Burleton, director of TransActive Gender Center in Portland, gave the keynote speech. Burleton spoke about the center, its need for support and how to go forward in activism.
TransActive provides education and training to schools, health care providers and professional and community organizations that engage with families and children, according to its website.
In addition to education, TransActive created a model framework for communitybased counseling, assessment and medical referral program focused on the needs of gender diverse and transgender children, youths, their families and allies.
Other rally speakers included Ineka Estabrook, PFLAG chair, Lisa Gray, Lincoln County Diversity Committee, Joanne Cvar, Oregon Rural Organizing Project, Omar Antonio, Centro de Ayuda, Maria Krause, Lincoln County Community Rights, Toledo Mayor Billie Jo Smith and state Rep. David Gomberg (D-10th Dist.) “After the rally, I hope people will take this momentum to local businesses, get a coffee or a beer and keep talking,” Kosydar added. “I want this to continue.”
Contact reporter Gloria Tucker at 541-265-857 1, ext. 217 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Protesters carrying large, cardboard replicas of President Donald Trump walk toward the Hallmark Resort in Newport during the Stronger Together March on Saturday, Jan. 21. (Photo by Nathan Howard)
Social activists have succumbed to one of the most enduring myths of contemporary American protest. It’s time to consider what happens the day after.
Shortly after Donald Trump’s shock election victory, I received an urgent call from one of the co-creators of the Women’s March on Washington. She was concerned at a moment you might expect her to be ecstatic. Hundreds of thousands of women in 17 countries had already signed on in solidarity, and the numbers kept growing. Yet despite the tremendous momentum, she confessed a nagging skepticism about the effectiveness of the protest.
“I’m not that interested in the march itself but in what comes afterwards,” Fontaine Pearson confided to me. I admire her candor because I know it takes courage to voice such a concern. It is her difficult question – what comes the day after? – that every supporter of the Women’s March should be earnestly figuring out today.
Without a clear path from march to power, the protest is destined to be an ineffective feelgood spectacle adorned with pink pussy hats.
It is exciting when a protest meme leaps from social networks to the streets, capturing the imagination of millions, prompting this very website to proclaim that the forthcoming protest could be among the biggest in American history and Vogue to commission glitzy photos of the core organizers dressed up like Eileen Fisher models. But it is all too easy to succumb to the false hope that a big splash is a transformative tsunami.
Don’t be fooled. It is not. I’ve been there, as the co-creator of a raucous pro-democracy meme that inspired months of Occupy protests in 82 countries. And I can tell you that raising awareness and getting media attention is never enough. Frankly, neither brings the people closer to sovereign power.
For all those who want the Women’s March to be the start of an enduring revolutionary movement, here is my advice on how to increase the odds.
On 5 October 1789, during the earliest days of what would become the French Revolution, a mob of women materialized on the streets of Paris. Some historians say it was spontaneous, others that it was planned. Regardless, we know that the furious women, desperately hungry from bread shortages in the city, descended on the Hôtel de Ville, the seat of municipal government, and demanded to speak to the mayor. The national guard refused them entry but also refused to fire on them and so the women burst through the police line, ransacked city hall and raided the armory.
Now armed with swords and cannons, the crowd of protesters grew to more than 7,000 female insurrectionaries. Suddenly a far more revolutionary goal was adopted: a Women’s March on Versailles, where King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette where hosting a series of lavish banquets for royalist soldiers.
It the first protest march of women in modern history, and it was also the most effective. When the revolutionary women arrived at Versailles, they broke into the palace, murdered two guardsmen and attempted to enter the queen’s bedchamber before ultimately forcing King Louis XVI and his entourage to march with the crowd – now 60,000 strong – back to Paris.
The Women’s March on Versailles was a literal and forceful assertion of the people’s sovereignty over the king. It was a defining moment in the revolutionary history of democracy. As the historian William Doyle explains: “Louis XVI never returned to Versailles … All open attempts on the king’s part to resist the reform of France now came to an end.” The National Assembly was led to Paris shortly after and legislative decision-making power was eventually fully captured by the people. Democratic revolutionaries executed King Louis XVI by guillotine less than four years later.
The day after the women marched on Versailles was the definitive point of no return for the French Revolution. And let’s not forget that the Russian Revolution of 1917 was also initially sparked, as Leon Trotsky recalls in his definitive history, by a defiant women’s protest.
The lesson here is that protesting grandmothers, daughters and mothers have the unique power to do what male protesters cannot – such as break through a line of national guard bayonets without being fired upon. And for this reason, women will always play a foundational role in the great revolutions to come, but only when they take matters into their own hands, act unexpectedly and viscerally, and focus their collective energy on the only target that matters: concretely establishing the power of the people over their governments.
The original Women’s March on Versailles involved women using direct action to force the king to listen to the people’s demands. Today’s Women’s March is entirely symbolic.
No one would ever dare to call for an insurrectionary march on Trump Tower with the goal of physically dragging the president-elect and his family out of their penthouse. No one says the Women’s March on Washington should ransack the White House or occupy Congress and appoint themselves legislators. Instead, we organize a well-publicized spectacle and hope he will listen from within his palatial accommodations.
If you’re showing up at the Women’s March on 21 January in the hopes that the world will be different on 22 January, then you need to think seriously about the goal of marching.
As a general rule, before you protest, ask yourself why this is one of your chosen forms of action. Question your tactics, not your motives. In this case, the obvious first question for any activist ought to be: why deploy a communal march in the streets as a form of protest?
Sometimes, the people march. Other times we hold general assemblies, tar and feather opponents, occupy pipelines, go on strike, dance in a circle, riot in the streets or pray together. In each case, behind every act of protest is an often unarticulated theory of social change: a story we tell ourselves about why the disobedient behavior we’ve chosen will usher in the change we desire.
So why are women marching the day after Donald Trump becomes president? It all comes down to a false theory of how the people can assert sovereign power over their elected president in 2017.
Today’s social activists have succumbed to one of the most enduring myths of contemporary American protest: the comforting belief that if you can get enough people into the streets from diverse demographics, largely unified behind a clear message, then our representatives will be forced to heed the crowd’s wishes.
If this story has ever been true, and I’m not so sure it has, then it hasn’t been the case since 1963, when 250,000 people marched on Washington for “jobs and freedom” and heard Martin Luther King Jr deliver his I Have a Dream speech. Less than a year later, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 banned discrimination based on “race, color, religion, sex or national origin” in employment and housing.
But let’s be real: there are countless counter-examples of marches on Washington that failed: the 1913 march of women to demand the right to vote, the 1978 march for the Equal Rights Amendment, the 1986 Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament, the Million Man March of 1995, the 2004 March for Women’s Lives, the inauguration protests against George W Bush’s second term in 2005 … the list is practically endless. Activists have a tendency to ignore repeated failure in favor of overemphasizing one or two anomalous minor victories.
The absolute failure of the 15 February 2003 anti-war protest, the largest synchronized global march in human history, was the last gasp of this tactic. Today’s nominally democratic governments would be more concerned by the absence of our marches, as that might suggest something darker is in the works.
The only way to attain sovereignty – the supreme authority over the functioning of our government – is to use social protest to win elections or win wars. Either we can march to the ballot box or the battleground; there is no third option.
That Trump was elected demonstrates that an anti-establishment outsider can sweep into power through elections – a fact activists should learn from and begrudgingly celebrate.
Before Trump’s victory, it was widely assumed that a candidate without the backing of the establishment could not possibly win a presidential election. Good news: now we know that it is possible. It is finally conceivable that a revolutionary movement beholden to the people could take power in America by winning elections and without violence.
I suspect the Women’s March on Washington has a role to play in this unfolding drama, but only if we cultivate a few moments of detachment from the thoughtless excitement to truly take time to consider this question: what happens on the day after the women march?
Right now, in America, there is no pro-democracy anti-establishment party that is capable of stepping forward, seizing power and governing. America needs a protest movement like Spain’s Podemos, Iceland’s Pirate Party or Italy’s 5 Star Movement. These populist democratic movements are the prototype for the future of protest. Each has achieved surprising electoral victories in a short time, but what is more important is how they are changing the way power functions.
Consider, for example, what happened when Virginia Raggi, a member of the anti-corruption 5 Star Movement, was elected mayor of Rome in 2016 only to be embroiled in her own corruption scandal. The movement didn’t make excuses. Instead, the Five Star Movement very swiftly asserted its sovereignty over its candidate and stripped Raggi of the power to make appointments and other “important decisions” without the movement’s approval. This represents a leap forward in people power: a concrete example of a social movement winning elections while still retaining a firm grip on decision-making power. Bravo!
The number one challenge standing in the way of an effective protest in America today is the inability of our social movements to actually govern. There might be a slight chance our protests could oust Trump, but there is no chance that our present-day movements could govern at all, let alone effectively.
That is because leaderless protesters don’t know how to make complex decisions together as movement. Occupy couldn’t even come up with its one demand.
Now we are seeing this capacity slowly develop among protest movements in Europe. However, until we can replicate their successes in America, the people will never be able to take back sovereignty and our protests remain an exercise in infantile futility.
And that is the great gift that the Women’s March on Washington could give us. May the angry women return home the day after the march to lead us toward a women-led hybrid movement-party in every state that is disciplined enough to govern, militantly local and single-mindedly devoted to actualizing a force capable of seizing control of city councils and mayorships during midterm elections across America in preparation for an electoral coup against the presidency in 2020.
Now that would be a goal worth marching toward.
By Michah White, January 19,2017 The Guardian
The Oregon chapter of the National Organization for Women (Oregon NOW) and the Greater Portland NOW chapter enthusiastically support the Women’s March on Washington in Portland on January 21, 2017. We hope to see everyone there!
At this critical time in our nation’s history we must stand in solidarity. Marching together against hate shows our neighbors and the world that we will not accept racism, sexism, and xenophobia from our soon-to-be leaders – or their followers.
While we initially withheld our support for this march because early planning did not reflect our intersectional values – which couldn’t be more important right now – the new march leadership is creating an intersectional, powerful event that we feel great about supporting. It is poised to be a march where everyone in Oregon is welcome and, more importantly, where every woman-identified person and ally is invited to march for their rights and is respected for who they are and for their own unique experiences.
We are excited by what we are seeing as the march unfolds, specifically when it comes to meaningful conversations among Oregonians about racism, sexism, classism, heteronormativism, and how we can learn from and respect each other and link arms for the fight ahead. Together we are better able to fight the danger to our collective safety and equality that we now face. United we stand. Divided we fall.
We thank the original march organizers for their time and hard work, and we applaud the continuing time and hard work of the new organizers, who know how much history and potential is riding on this date and grabbed hold of it to harness the powerful and positive energy surrounding an increasingly intersectional feminist movement. We hope that we all continue to push each other to resist oppression in all forms.
Let us be the very best that this march has the potential to be! Let us join hands – literally and figuratively – with our sisters of color, our white sisters, our young, our aging, our abled and other-abled, our LGBTQIA family, our immigrants, our marginalized, our brothers and all allies. Together we can and must stand up with and for each other.
See you on January 21st, when we will rise together.
Oregon NOW and Greater Portland NOW
NOTE: Oregon NOW is also supporting Newport’s STRONGER TOGETHER MARCH on January 21. If you are on the Coast that day please join us! We will gather at the Newport City Hall at 11:30, start marching towards the Hallmark Resort at 12 pm, and unite for an indoor Rally with life music, coffee, and speeches at 12:30 pm.
About the National Organization for Women: NOW is an intersectional, multi-issue, multi-strategy organization that takes a holistic approach to women’s rights. Our official priorities are winning economic equality and securing it with an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that will guarantee equal rights for women; championing abortion rights, reproductive justice along with other women’s health issues; opposing racism; fighting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in all areas, including employment, housing, health services, and child custody; and ending violence against all women, no matter race, age, or socio-economic class.