Protesters join Trump foe Rosie O’Donnell and others in the rain outside the White House and Capitol to denounce Trump ahead of his first major speech.
Filmed by Ford Fischer
Article by Alejandro Alvarez
40 days into Trump’s presidency, a persistent group of demonstrators in the nation’s capital are determined to ensure what they see as poisonous, divisive rhetoric stays far from normalization.
Between massive actions like the Women’s March which are soaking up a majority of mainstream media coverage, smaller groups often numbering in dozens to few hundreds are taking to the streets almost daily. For them, protest isn’t so much a revolution, it’s an evolution – the aim being to keep the conversation going and the pressure on elected officials almost constant as the nation looks at four years of a Trump presidency.
For the local anti-Trump coalition, Trump’s first major speech was a perfect occasion to do just that. MoveOn.org, Food & Water Watch, and other left-wing activist collectives teamed up to challenge Trump’s address with one of their own. The “Resistance Address,” as they called it, was billed as counter-programming to the “moral crisis” generated and advanced by Trump’s White House.
Despite a cold and drenching rain hours before Trump’s speech, about one hundred gathered outside the White House in a sea of umbrellas and ponchos in a show of resistance against the nation’s new president delivered by Trump’s arch nemesis, Rosie O’Donnell.
A post-rally march to the Capitol led the group down an unusually deserted Pennsylvania Avenue, closely guarded by city police on every corner. They met with other protesters at a courtyard park blocks from the Senate, where about two hundred banged pots and bans and chanted “Yes we can” and “Si se puede” in the middle of an ongoing downpour.
Among those gathered outside the Capitol was David Barrows, wearing an uncannily realistic Trump mask and a posterboard challenging Trump’s moves supporting the oil industry through controversial pipeline projects.
“I think it always has an impact,” Barrows said, asked about the effectiveness of protests against a government that has so far made motions to disregard or discredit citizen activism.
“One time I was the only one demonstrating in front of the White House against the coming war in Iraq, and a foreign tourist said ‘oh I thought all Americans were for invading Iraq, until he saw me,” adding he believed persistent protests, however small, prove to the world that not all Americans “are rolling over and playing dead for Donald Trump”
The next two months look to be active on the protest front in the nation’s capital, with events on a wide range of issues from indigenous rights to support for the scientific community. Trump’s supporters are also seeking to organize against liberal protest, with a “March4Trump” attempting to pick up steam on social media.