Why We Protested Trump Last Night in Chicago, A Crain’s Op-Ed by ANSWER Coordinator
Last night, more than 10,000 people flooded the streets of downtown Chicago to protest president-elect Donald Trump. The energetic crowd was made up primarily of young people who felt compelled to take action in the streets.
The anti-racist action, coinciding with spontaneous and large-scale protests across the country, was very important for the future of this country and the planet. An open racist, sexist and bigot is set to occupy the White House.
The open re-emergence of white supremacy, especially considering this country’s legacy of slavery, apartheid and mass incarceration, has brought into the light of day the fact that much more substantial social change is needed in the United States.
A Donald Trump administration is a danger that must be resisted by the population. We must unite around immigrants, black youth struggling for justice, women, Muslims, the LGBTQ community and the very long list of people who have been targeted by a monstrously hateful and victorious presidential campaign.
The wave of protests last night spoke an undeniable truth: The Donald Trump administration will witness the rebirth—with its precursors in the Black Lives Matter movement, the immigrants rights movement of 2006-07, the Occupy movement and the overwhelming youth support for Bernie Sanders—of a sustainable mass movement against racism, war and inequality.
On Jan. 20, the day of Trump’s inauguration, there will be an historic demonstration against hate in Washington, D.C. I will be helping organize that demonstration. Millions of people will surely want to come to the capitol to reject the coronation of a greatly despised man. In fact, it is the duty of every justice-loving person in this country to do whatever they can to help stop the racism, sexism and homophobia that are growing like cancers right now.
Looking into the determined faces of thousands of young people who marched in the streets for hours last night, shutting down many of the major streets of the city, I saw the future—a future where people unite across all communities and stand up to the out-of-touch, corrupt and callous power brokers of this country.
We can create a better day in which things like police brutality, hunger, poverty, inequality in education and housing, and hatred against immigrants and Muslims are relegated to the dustbin of history.
John Beacham is the coordinator of the Answer Coalition in Chicago and organizer of Wednesday’s Say No to Trump and Say No to Racism protest downtown.