Report from the US: Wave of protests show hope for resisting Trump

Trump’s election is being met with a wave of resistance all over the US.

Angry marches blocked downtown LA every evening the week after the election. The mobilisations are some of the largest I’ve ever been a part of, with over 15,000 in the streets of LA on 12 November. The crowds are so large that spontaneous marches erupt continuously every time people gather around the city.

The crowds are young and diverse, and chants about protecting Muslims, undocumented migrants, black lives matter, and sexism are hugely popular.

There have also been large protests across the country from New York to Atlanta, Philadelphia, Seattle and Salt Lake City.

As Trump’s proposed cabinet fills with racists, minorities are living in very real fear.

There are reports from schools of children asking their teachers what Trump is going to do to them. Black school students in Missouri and New York were told to go sit at the back of buses and Latinos face taunts about Trump’s proposed Mexico border wall. The Southern Poverty Law Center, an organisation that documents hate crimes, says it’s received more reports than the period immediately following 11 September.

As racists grow more confident, the Democrats have shamefully said they’re willing to work with Trump in office, asking the public to give him a chance. But ordinary people already know what a Trump presidency will entail: threats to the undocumented, attacks on women’s rights and uncertainty about the Affordable Care Act.

The fight against Trump’s plan to deport two million migrants in his first 100 days is key where I live. In LA County the undocumented population is an estimated one in ten. East LA high schools walked out of class on 14 November.

The LA school district has declared classrooms safe, refusing to share information about students’ immigration status with the incoming government or allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement onto its campuses. College campuses across the country are staging walk-outs with similar “sanctuary campus” demands.

There are important debates too. Some on the protests are calling for Trump’s impeachment, electoral college reform, and think Clinton should have won.

But the illusions in the Democrats are shaky. There are huge openings to discuss how the Democrats sold us out. Reminding people that Obama deported 2.5 million undocumented migrants goes down particularly well. People are hungry for alternatives to the two party system.

The next step it to turn this outrage on the streets into grassroots campaigns to fight and disrupt Trump on every front, on campuses, in neighborhoods, and in unions.

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