On October 9, Vice President Mike Pence came to Sacramento, California to fundraise and speak on Trump’s tax reform plan. The reform would cost Californians over $100 billion, and would directly benefit the corporations and the upper class. The plan is another slap in the face to the working class and threatens to further devastate them financially.
Pence’s visit also came the day after he stormed out of an Indianapolis Colts game after NFL players took a knee during the National Anthem to protest against the nationwide epidemic of police terror.
For these and other reasons, Pence’s arrival in Sacramento was met with resistance.
About a hundred or so Sacramento community members, including NoDAPL Sacramento, Sacramento Green Party, the Brown Berets, NorCal Resist and Party for Socialism and Liberation among others rallied and marched in downtown Sacramento to show that bigots and racists like Mike Pence are not welcome in our city. People chanted “No hate no fear! Pence you’re not welcome here!” and “No Trump! No Pence! No wall! No fence!”
Pence’s visit at the Hyatt across from the Capitol building seemed apt in part because of the hotel’s reputation as a union buster that has made sure over the years that workers remain unprotected by collective bargaining.
As the rally turned into a march and went from the corner of L and 15th down the street to L and 12th, the police presence rose. There were police officers on almost every corner of of this small intersection in downtown Sacramento, on bicycles, horses, motorcycles,and vans. The march brought the crowd of antifascists face to face with a small but vocal group of Alt-Right agitators who stood confined to a small strip of sidewalk while the chant of “Whose streets? Our Streets!” drowned out much of their hate speech.
As usual, the Alt Right and Trump supporters tried to stir things up with their typical aggressive overtones and cameras waiting for people to confront them.
Looking into the small crowd of Trump supporters, you could see a few people wearing black polo shirts with the yellow striped collars, which are the unofficial “uniform” for the fascist “Proud Boys” gang. The Proud Boys constantly tried to intimidate the protesters and threatened them with violence and used sexist, racist, and just disgusting language. They kept yelling that they were going to “doxx” everyone and accused people of being terrorists. Other agitators included Patriot Prayer member Amber Cummings as well as Kyle Chapman also known as Based Stickman. Although tensions were extremely high, there was no physical confrontation.
After being blocked from marching farther up L St. by the police, the protesters rallied and chanted as energy was high. After another short march, space was opened for the community to speak their minds.
As the community gathered in a circle, various speakers touched on the particular need to resist Mike Pence. They pointed out that he is a proud “Christian” supremacist, and has shown himself to be homophobic, sexist, and racist. Others spoke on the demand to abolish Columbus Day in favor of Indigenous People’s Day. There was also a knee taken in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and the fight to end racist police terror. Spoken word pieces came between spirited speeches calling for an end to the injustices of the capitalist system. The night closed with a call for folks to stay involved and keep organizing not just for reforms but also for a true independent people’s movement capable of fighting back against the oppressive institutions of the state.
The events of this night show once more that it’s not just Trump that will be met with resistance, it’s everyone in the Trump Administration. Whether it be Mike Pence, or former Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon, all will be met with resistance and reminded that they are not welcome to bring their hate and bigotry anywhere and never will be.