Yesterday, across the country, millions of Americans had this message for the new President of the United States, Donald Trump: “Welcome to your first day! We will not go away!”
That chant was repeated in hundreds of anti-Trump protests around the world, on every continent, including Antarctica. The largest protest, and the one that was conceptually central to them all, was in Washington DC, where between 600,000 and 700,000 people marched through the National Mall, past Congress, down Pennsylvania Avenue, and to the White House, in a roaring display of resistance to Donald Trump. The protests were so huge that roads and train stations in Virginia and Maryland were packed full of people trying to join the demonstration.
The protest centered on civil rights for women, ethnic and cultural minorities, the disabled, immigrants, and LGBT Americans. However, protesters also blasted Trump on his ignorance of science and education, animosity toward environmental issues, plans for war and torture, attacks against health care, and his unhinged, destructive approach to government.
This was the largest protest ever to take place in Washington DC, twice as large as the 1960s civil rights march on Washington that featured Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
I was there. It was the most massive political demonstration I have ever seen. It came after a day of huge Inauguration Day protests in which anti-Trump demonstrators outnumbered Trump supporters who came to DC to see Trump sworn in.
In response, President Trump issued the following garbled statement: “Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn’t these people vote?”
For the record, these anti-Trump protesters did vote. Donald Trump lost the popular vote by millions of ballots. What’s more, their ranks included many Americans who voted for Trump, but quickly came to regret their choice.
Donald Trump now has the approval of only 40% of American voters.
Two days of protest won’t stop Donald Trump, of course. Only an ongoing political movement can do that. To join that movement, check in with the Indivisible Guide, which lists local activist groups across the USA. I live in a small village far from any large city, and there are 18 Indivisible groups near me. There’s likely to be many to choose from where you live as well.