On January 20, 2017, hundreds of thousands of people gathered in cities all over the country to declare that they will not let the Trump administration get away with its attacks on working and oppressed people. One hundred days later, while Trump struggles to keep his promises, we are keeping ours.
Trump inauguration met with historic protests
Thousands of people met the Trump era with a protest along the inaugural parade route, where Trump could see and hear the anger and determination of the people as he passed by hiding in his limousine. It was at this protest where daughter of Mexican immigrants and ANSWER Coalition organizer, Karina Garcia, shared a Mexican saying with the crowd of protestors: “The drop of water breaks the stone, not because of its force, but because of its consistency.”
The fight against the Trump agenda over the past 100 days has been consistent, and although we have not yet broken the stone, we have damaged it quite a bit. More than 3 million people filled the streets of 600 cities the day after Trump was sworn in. The Women’s March was one of the largest days of protest in U.S. history; one of every hundred people in the United States took to the streets. In the months following, the momentum from the inauguration protest and the Women’s March continued as Trump unleashed his ruthless attacks on workers, immigrants and refugees, women, the LGBTQ community and the planet.
Immigrants fight back
Only a month after the historic Women’s March, immigrants organized a national strike as the Trump administration prepared to accelerate the deportation machine left behind by the Obama administration. On February 16, the strike forced thousands of businesses around the country to shut down. Among these, over 1,000 businesses closed in Dallas, over 50 restaurants closed in Washington, D.C., and five major supermarkets closed in Chicago. Schools all around the country had record low attendance rates. Among the thousands of schools that saw abnormalities in attendance, 3,000 students more than usual were absent in Los Angeles schools, over 4,000 students in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and over 4,000 in Orlando. This quickly and effectively organized strike was a sign that immigrants were ready to fight against Trump’s attacks on their communities.
Both Muslim bans defeated
Trump attempted to deliver one of his most outrageous promises to his right-wing base: a ban on immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries. At several major airports, customs officers aggressively began implementing the ban by detaining, interrogating and humiliating several immigrants and refugees traveling legally from those countries.
In response, protests erupted at airports in over 50 cities demanding that travelers be released and that the ban be repealed. In an act of worker solidarity, the New York City Taxi Worker’s Alliance called for a complete stop to pickups at JFK airport for an hour, and hundreds of Yemeni bodega owners in New York City shut down their shops in protest. The immigrants and refugees were released the following day, and the ban and its reincarnation in a new executive order have both been defeated in a major victory for the people, and defeat for the Trump Agenda.
Scientists resist Trump
The Trump Agenda has proven to be one of unrestrained capitalism. Trump has taken steps eliminate all regulations preventing corporations from destroying the planet, poisoning our food and water, and harming the health and well-being of millions of people and future generations. The March for Science, organized in response to these endless attacks, was unprecedented and historic, the first time that scientists from such a broad scope of fields and specializations were brought together in resistance of the government.
The march drew hundreds of thousands to the streets of over 600 cities. Chemistry Professor and Sarasota March for Science Organizer, Steve Shipman, told Liberation, “Scientists in general think of ourselves as ‘objective’ or ‘apolitical’. We’re not, but we tend to think we are. This is a step at breaking that down and engaging more people in activism.”
Reviving the anti-war movement
Democratic Party leaders condemned the Trump administration while putting up a meager resistance up until he launched 59 Tomahawk missiles into Syria. On April 6, they changed their tuned, rallying around war and imperialism, which unifies both the ruling parties. Nevertheless, in the days after the illegal air strikes, emergency protests took place in dozens of cities to stand against U.S. intervention in Syria.
These past 100 days have given us a glimpse of the tremendous power masses of people have when faced with crisis. These marches were the first time many people have found themselves at a protest. Many of these people are now engaging more consistently in political action, and becoming activists and organizers.
In the course of only three months, mass protests and political action have become mainstream, and organizations dedicated to resisting oppression and exploitation are growing quickly. As more and more people become politicized, we become more powerful. This is the path to a strong people’s movement, and ultimately to revolutionary change.