On Friday January 20, the United States got its first fascist president. (Miriam Webster defines fascism as a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition) In Seattle and surrounding areas the day was filled with mass protests that included several marches in downtown Seattle and hundreds of students walking out of class to protest. That evening was the event at Seattle’s gathering spot, Westlake Park. Westlake Park sits in the middle of Seattle’s main shopping district and is the main transportation hub of the downtown area. This is the event I attended.
In all I’d guess at least four thousand were in attendance. The main speaker was Seattle counsel member Kashma Sawant, a socialist who said that Democratic Party leadership and Hillary Clinton’s campaign “assisted Trump’s ascension to the White House” by failing to reach the young and working-class voters who supported Bernie Sanders. Now, the country has a president who has stated policy goals of deporting millions of immigrants, and is expected to fill his cabinet with far-right leaning people, including the former head of Breitbart News and a retired lieutenant general who said Islam is a “cancer.”
Sawant went on to stress that the Green Party supports a national $15/hour minimum wage, that they support getting big money out of our elections. They support equality for all and she encouraged everyone to keep engaging in acts of civil disobedience against the new administration.
Those in attendance held signs saying things saying Not My President, Keep Abortions Safe (referring to republican attacks on Planned Parenthood) and signs speaking out on Trump’s immigration policy, saving the ACA, stopping the Dakota Access Pipeline, to name a few.
I stuck around for about an hour and a half before going home to prepare for the big march the following day.