On Saturday June 10, hundreds of people came out to the No Hate, No Fear protest to support Muslims and immigrants, and counter the message of racism being promoted by a rally called by the right wing group “ACT for America.” The “ACT for America” rally was one of many racist rallies taking place in cities across the country.
The No Hate, No Fear counter-demonstration that took place in Roseville was sponsored by numerous groups from the community, including the ANSWER Coalition Sacramento, Sacramento Regional Coalition for Palestinian Rights, Sacramento Area Peace Action, NorCal Resist, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Zapatista Solidarity Coalition, IWW Sacramento, Freedom Socialist Party and No DAPL Sacramento.
The No Hate, No Fear demonstration occupied the space the racists initially planned to hold, on a visible corner of Roseville Parkway, in front of a highly trafficked shopping mall. Loud, energetic, anti-racist and anti-bigot chants and speeches drowned out the racist gathering that took place across the large boulevard. The No Hate, No Fear rally was highly spirited and disciplined. ANSWER activists began demonstrating before the racists showed up, protesting for over five hours in the hot valley sun, and continued as the racists were leaving.
The No Hate, No Fear protest included diverse participants representing the Sacramento region and beyond. Demonstrators came together in unity from towns many hours away including Chico, Modesto, Grass Valley and San Francisco. Anti-racist demonstrators held signs and banners that read “People United Against Racism,” “Stand Up to Anti-Muslim Bigotry” and “There are No Borders in the Worker’s struggle.” One anti-racist demonstrator was arrested attempting to cross to a corner where additional anti-racist demonstrators had gathered who had been blocked by police from joining the rest of the group. The person arrested was later released and returned to the No Hate, No Fear rally.
Holding ground throughout the day provided an opportunity for the community to engage and be vocal in their opposition to racism. In Roseville, the community continuously filtered in and out of the anti-racist demonstration as they passed by, taking time between errands to stay a moment and chant down fascism.
The relationship between political forces that back Trump and rising fascist and KKK tendencies was apparent at the racist gathering in Roseville. Trump supporters held Trump flags, a Confederate flag, and signs that read, “Ban Islamic immigration.” Just as the Alt-Right is not about free speech, Trump supporters and Republicans are not for human rights.
Speakers at the No Hate, No Fear rally pointed out that “ACT for America” knows very little about Islam or Sharia and their action was an attempt to raise fear and marginalize the Muslim community through policies like Trump’s travel ban. Anti-racist speakers also explained that anti-Muslim bigotry fuels pro-war propaganda in an attempt to build support for U.S. wars from Iraq, to Afghanistan, to Libya, against Palestine and now Syria, which have killed or displaced many millions of people in the Middle East.
The No Hate, No Fear rally clearly showed that we will not give into the culture of fear being promoted on the right. Our many diverse communities will continue to stand in unity with our Muslim sisters and brothers against hate.