Massive women’s march to lead protests planned around Trump inaugural

A massive women’s protest march will lead the huge demonstrations, in Washington and around the nation, to greet — in a manner of speaking — Republican Donald Trump when he takes the presidential oath of office on Jan. 20. Unionists will be right in the middle of them.

And many of the participating organizations are already laying plans to continue the protests and the activism right through Trump’s first 100 days in office, which would extend through May Day.

The biggest plans will bring at least 155,000 women to Washington on Jan. 21 to protect the right to reproductive choice and to lambaste Trump and GOPs opposition to IT. Other protesters will denounce Trump’s misogyny, his record of past sexual groping and harassment of women and his anti-woman, anti-worker policy plans and Cabinet picks.

The Coalition of Labor Union Women sent out an alert to all its members on Dec. 28, telling them about the Women’s March on Washington and urging them to join it. So did the Communications Workers.

The march in D.C. and other women’s marches nationwide “will be an historic message to the new administration – THAT WE WILL NOT TURN BACK!” declared CLUW Executive Director Carol Rosenblatt in an e-mail to members (her emphasis).

Organization of the women’s march began on Facebook and has already attracted 155,000 replies. Leaders expect at least 240,000 people to rally — and they note there are sympathetic pro-women marches planned simultaneously for more than 150 cities worldwide.

“We will send a strong message to the incoming administration that millions of people across this country are prepared to fight attacks on reproductive health care, abortion services, and access to Planned Parenthood, as they intersect with the rights of young people, people of color, immigrants, and people of all faiths, backgrounds, and incomes,” Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, said in a statement.

Planned Parenthood is running the logistics, safety, security, volunteers and digital promotion of the march. Buses for that protest and others will come from as far as San Francisco, according to one protesting organization, Answer.

“CLUW and the AFL-CIO and many unions and national women’s groups are involved and coordinating their members for the march and rally,” a memo from CLUW said. It reserved a block of rooms for out-of-town participants at the Amalgamated Transit Union’s Tommy Douglas conference center – the former National Labor College – in the D.C. suburbs.

“On January 21, more than 300 CWAers will be a part of a huge demonstration and march in Washington, D.C., bringing together supporters from across the country to stand together for women’s rights, safety, and families,” CWA added. “The Women’s March on Washington is expected to draw over 200,000 women for a peaceful protest of the incoming administration. We will meet at the intersection of Independence Ave. and Third St SW, near the U.S. Capitol” at 10 am.

Gloria Steinem and Harry Belafonte will lead the women’s march and may speak at their rally. Organizers also want to “mobilize people on a local level with familiar organizations… align regionally and nationally” to protect women’s rights, especially the right to choice. But they emphasized their march will specifically be pro-women’s rights, and not just anti-Trump.

The more than 100 “sister marches” nationwide include events in Chicago, Champaign-Urbana, Ill., St. Louis, Kansas City, St. Paul, Minn., at Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles, in San Francisco, San Diego and eight other California cities, in Portland, Eugene, and four other Oregon cities, in Grand Rapids, Mich., at the United Nations in New York City and at state capitols in Juneau, Alaska, Trenton, N.J., and Honolulu, among other cities.

Still other organizations took to social media to make the case for protecting women’s right to choose and opposing Trump. Raising Women’s Voices posts a daily graphic showing a different aspect of how the Affordable Care Act — Democratic President Barack Obama’s health care law which Trump and the GOP vow to trash — enhances women’s health care.

And a month after the election, the Service Employees (SEIU) joined three other groups to form the Protect Our Care Coalition, also to defend the ACA. AFSCME and SEIU are joining together to protect Medicare and Medicaid. The GOP has both programs in its crosshairs.

The other demonstrations include:

• National Nurses United, which has already been out in the streets against Trump, is resuming its campaign for government-run single-payer national health care. NNU still calls the ACA flawed because it left medical care in the insurers’ hands and did nothing about skyrocketing bills to patients. Single-payer advocates will discuss further strategy at a Jan.13-15 conference in New York City. The Medicare for All Coalition, which includes NNU, plans a National Day of Action for that cause — but on social media only — on Inauguration Day.

• Saying “Trump ran a racist campaign, calling Mexicans ‘rapists, criminals, and drug dealers,'” the Legalization For All Network plans a mass movement of students, workers, community activists, Chicanos, Latinos and Mexican-Americans on Inauguration Day. Those protests will slam Trump’s plans — a key part of his campaign — to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, deport all 11 million undocumented people, cut off federal funds to sanctuary cities and end Obama’s program that protects undocumented people brought here as children.

“Seventy percent of the undocumented are from Mexico and Central America, and these are the people Trump is primarily targeting,” the network adds. But it also notes it’s not just Trump who’s anti-Latino: In December 2005, the GOP-run U.S. House, on a party-line vote, approved legislation with those same goals, “criminalizing the undocumented,” it said. After more than a million people protested the following spring, the legislation died.

“A similar mass movement is needed to stop Trump’s attacks on the undocumented. Trump has his 100-day plan, we in the immigrant rights movement need to respond with our own 100-day plan to also build for even bigger protests on May 1,” the network declared.

• Answer, which started as a coalition against former GOP President George W. Bush’s Iraq War, has received 20,611 RSVPs via social media for its Jan. 20 anti-Trump protest.

“Donald Trump is a racist, sexist bigot. We believe that tens of thousands of progressive people will be in the streets on Inauguration Day and in the weeks and months afterward. How one voted on Election Day is one thing, but even more important is whether we succeed in building a mass movement that can truly change the country and the world,” Answer declares.

• UniteforAmerica/#NotMyPresident plans protests in other cities. And several boycott movements are trying to identify businesses to shun: Firms that carry pro-Trump merchandise, companies with financial ties to Trump, corporations whose executives back Trump and firms with digital ads on pro-Trump websites. Unite for America told supporters to follow the guidelines of #GrabYourWallet, one of the boycott movements.

• The People’s Power Assemblies in New York City now draws 200+ people to weekly meetings to plan their role in the D.C. protests. Organizer Colin Ashley says the first planned protest, on Inauguration Day itself, is the start of a 100-day “J20” movement to oppose Trump.

But for all their outrage, the anti-Trump groups have not agreed on a common platform. Democrats are urging them to work politically, while groups such as Answer have given up on that route. Black Lives Matter and the organization of Bernie Sanders’ supporters have yet to decide whether to join the mass marches. Still, everyone recognizes the urgency.

“There has to be stepped-up action for the long term,” one health care activist added.

Source: PAI