How to celebrate Presidents’ Day

February 21, 2019

Sign held by demonstrator on Presidents’ Day 2019 in Oakland, Calif. Photo: Urszula Wislanka for News & Letters.

Oakland, Calif.–With just 72 hour notice over 50,000 people came together in 48 states in almost 300 events to protest Donald Trump on Presidents’ Day. While the events were organized by as a response to the fake emergency declaration, their call was answered spontaneously by many. Oakland’s organizers expected enough people to lay down to spell “No Wall” in 40 foot tall letters. To their surprise, so many people came that the letters were filled with people standing on their feet and many had to stand on the sidelines, not finding spaces to fill. The letters could have been twice as wide and still filled with standing people.

While some of’s organizers’ own agenda may not go beyond electing Democrats, people at the demonstrations came with many ideas. A large banner in Oakland called on California to become a sanctuary state. Other signs proclaimed, “In support of Black Lives, Queer resistance, reproductive rights and economic justice. Abolish prisons, borders, war and white supremacy,” “#NoDAPL.” Creating space for discussion what we are for beyond our opposition to Trump and trumpism is vital for continuing the struggle.

–Urszula Wislanka

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