Resist: Queers need to build coalitions to resist Trump
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Summer often brings change. In this case, that means a new author for this column.
For those of you who aren't personally familiar with me, I am – in reverse order of importance – a criminal defense attorney, a historian, and an activist. As a trans woman and a lesbian, I'm proud to have served with anti-Fascist (Antifa) forces at all three "Battles of Berkeley" in February, March, and April this year, despite having been hit with chemical agents twice by Deplorables (i.e. self-described Donald Trump supporters) and, on one occasion, taking a weapon off a Deplorable who was beating someone with it. I've also participated in multiple other actions, from serving as a volunteer lawyer at San Francisco International Airport during the first round of litigation over Trump's initial Muslim travel ban to attending as many other marches and vigils as I can.
I'm honored to follow in Liz Highleyman's footsteps and I look forward to continuing the tradition of excellence she set. Specifically, I'd like to accomplish the following goals for this space. First, I want to make this column one of your primary resources to stay informed about resistance opportunities in the Bay Area and elsewhere. Second, I want to encourage other queer folks to work with groups that we may not have worked with as a community in the past but who share our desire to remove Trump and his illegal regime from power. To build the coalition we need, our people need to show up.
Impeachment March draws big crowd
Getting people to show up wasn't a problem for the organizers of the July 2 Impeachment March in San Francisco. The event, which was sponsored by Indivisible, Alameda4Impeachment, and a host of other groups, drew over 1,000 people to Justin Herman Plaza at the Embarcadero despite the July 4 holiday weekend.
"Suddenly, being quiet and humble is obscene," said DC Scarpelli, a local artist and activist, when discussing the Trump era. "Suddenly, speaking out is an obligation.
"Don't be scared to howl into the void," he said. "Resist and resist loud, so loud that we won't hear the door slam as he's dragged from office."
After hearing from Scarpelli and other speakers, the march proceeded north from the plaza down Embarcadero toward Pier 23.
While the organizers had planned for the march to take place on the sidewalk based on their permit, the San Francisco Police Department closed The Embarcadero to vehicle traffic for the duration of the protest, allowing participants to use the street instead.
It wasn't clear whether this was due to the sheer number of attendees (who appeared to be numerous enough to take up the entire sidewalk) or whether, as one marcher speculated, it was due to a desire by the police to minimize the impact of the march, since closing the street meant that the participants wouldn't be seen by those who would otherwise be driving by a march on the sidewalk.
In either case, one couldn't ask for better weather for a march and – in sharp contrast to some of last fall's events and the January 20 protest – Deplorable hecklers mostly stayed away.
After reaching the pier, the march turned around and returned to the plaza for concluding remarks.
National Day of Protest
RefuseFascism.org is conducting anti-Trump marches in several cities as part of its National Day of Protest and San Francisco is no exception. The local event, which is also sponsored by RefuseFascism Bay Area, begins at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 15 in United Nations Plaza, near the Civic Center BART and Muni stations.
Under the theme of "The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!," the protest is intended to inspire and focus resistance to Trump's anti-immigrant, anti-woman, anti-LGBTQ, anti-Muslim and refugee, and anti-black and anti-Latinx policies. The event also condemns Trump's military actions around the world as well as his attacks on health care, children, the elderly, the poor, and the environment – i.e. everything Trump has done since January 20.
For more information, see the event listing on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/287223228415418/?active_tab=about or Refuse Fascism Bay Area's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RefuseFascismBayArea/.
It's a sad comment that far more media attention was paid to Trump's offensive attack on "Morning Joe" co-anchor Mika Brzezinski than to anything he's said about his Muslim and refugee ban that is likely to get people killed. In any case, Trump's verbal assault has spawned an effort by genderqueer model Rain Dove to persuade Twitter users to report Trump for harassment.
I understand Dove's argument, but on balance I think the Resistance gains more from the tweets than it loses because they strip away Trump's facade of respectability. Banning him from Twitter would only enable his handlers to shield him from public accountability even more than they have been doing. Instead, with every tweet, Trump reduces their best efforts to dust.
Got a tip? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.