One of the many thing Donald Trump will be remembered for as president is how his mere presence in the White House have provoked protests, marches and monumental movements. He actually provoke several protests on the campaign trail before being elected. But as President this country saw some of biggest protests since the Civil Rights Era and protests against the Vietnam War. A few will go down as the biggest protests movements in the history of this country. His presidency awoke something in Americas. Not just in African-American, not even in just Democrats but from people in every shade and color, genre, religious belief or political persuasion. He just universally provoke people to protest, his actions, his executive orders and his mere presidency.
From the first full day of the Trump Presidency, Saturday, January 21, 2017, to the aftermath or the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, until the last day of early voting, Monday, November 2, 2020 – where just under 100 million Americas stood on unprecedented lines to cast their ballot – a significant portion of the population has been provoked to protest, “at a scale that has been seen rarely in our past and that has historically had the power to bring social and political change so eruptive and transformative that those in power will do anything to quell it,” thecut.com wrote in an article, ‘The Birth Of Progressive Protest Movement Under Trump, October 26, 2020.
The Trump Presidency has also given birth to the Woke-taunters, mostly rightwing media and members his personal cult who attacked and claimed the Woke protesters weren’t progressive, but domestic terrorists. There are potential protest planned if Trump refuses to accept the results of the election, attempts to stop the vote count or engages in any other nefarious schemes to remain in power. There are already calls for Americans to be prepared to act immediately.
America witnessed it’s largest one-day protest in its history with The Women’s March, in a kind of counterinauguration, one day after President Trump took office. The main protest was in Washington, D.C., and is known as the Women’s March on Washington with many other marches taking place worldwide. The Washington March was streamed live on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter and drew over 470,000 women in pink hats. Between 3,267,134 and 5,246,670 people participated in the marches in the U.S., approximately 1.0 to 1.6 percent of the U.S. population. Worldwide participation has been estimated at over seven million. At least 408 marches were reported to have been planned in the U.S. and 168 in 81 other countries.
Eight days later, starting Saturday, January 28, 2017 protesters came out across the country to rally against Trump’s executive order issued to block Syrian refugees and travelers from several Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. During protests against Executive Order 13769, thousands of people gathered at various American airports and airports around the world to prevent the returning of refugees and other visitors from seven countries considered unsafe. More than two thousand people were at the protest at John F. Kennedy International Airport with other protests appearing at significant international airports and other important sites around the United States. Protests continued daily and internationally through February 6th. Protests also continued after a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order against parts of the travel ban. In New York City, two incredible markers of America’s immigrant roots, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, provided a fitting background for protesters gathered in Manhattan’s Battery Park. About 10,000 demonstrators were present, some carrying signs reading, “Refugees welcome here,” and “No hate, no fear.”
On February 16, 2017 – A Day Without Immigrants took place around the United States where immigrants stayed home from school, work and did not spend money in order to show their impact on society. The protest was in response to the Trump administration’s stance on immigration and increased federal raids.
Four days later there was the, Not My President’s Day, a series of rallies against Trump held on Washington’s Birthday also known as Presidents’ Day), February 20, 2017. While people typically see Presidents Day as a chance to honor great leaders or enjoy a three-day weekend, a month he was in office, thousands of people marked the holiday by protesting Trump. Protests were held in more than two dozen cities, including Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Austin, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Denver and Washington, D.C. Demonstrations were also held outside London’s Houses of Parliament, and in Orkney. Los Angeles was the first city to plan a “Not My Presidents Day” rally, which was attended by more than a thousand protesters. New York City saw the largest demonstration, with an estimated 10,000 to 13,000 people attending a rally outside Trump International Hotel and Tower. The events were mostly peaceful, although thirteen people were arrested in Portland, Oregon. Organizers of the protest stated that although Trump was the president, they wanted to show that he did not represent their values. Many held colorful signs that defended refugees, condemned the president’s Cabinet picks, and called for his impeachment. Families and individuals of all ages chanted “Not my president!” and “Black lives matter!”
These are just a sample of the dozens or so of Anti-Trump protests and we just gave you a glimpse of his first 30 days in office. There were many more protests during Trump’s first 30 days than President Obama’s eight years in office. There isn’t even space, nor do we have enough time to do a true timeline of every single individual protest during the Trump Presidency, but the aforementioned was just enough to paint the picture and make my case.
The summary execution of George Floyd literally set the world on fire.
“Say his name.” “I can’t breathe.” “Black Lives Matter” were some of what was shouted by protesters wondering what it takes for charges to be filed against the four police officers who killed an unarmed, handcuffed black man. Another black life lost on Livestream at the hands of law enforcement.
From NYC to Los Angeles, Atlanta, Memphis, Chicago, Albuquerque, Columbus, Ohio, St. Paul and Minneapolis, just to name a few, protesters were expressing their frustrations and making their voices heard nationwide. There was something different this time, something more purposeful. Protestors set a police station on fire after clashing with officers outside as demonstrations escalated for a third night after Mr. Floyd’s death. Rallies were also held in every major city in all 50 states, and in over 20 countries. The state of Kentucky and surrounding areas demanded justice for the killing of Breonna Taylor and the video surfaced Ahmaud Arbery who was hunted and killed like an animal for sport. But it was the world watching the 8 minutes and 46 seconds of Officer Derek Chauvin with his knee on the neck of George Floyd that was the last straw.
What followed was the biggest protest in my life, bigger than the civil rights era, bigger than the protest in opposition to the Vietnam War. The Black Community was collectively saying get your knee off our neck and every other group of people came out in support and demand of criminal justice reform. While this could have happened under any presidency, it was Trump’s handling of the situation and lack of empathy and compassion the fueled the fire. Then he double down and sent in the National Guard and his private military, even when Mayors asked him not to, which only escalated the situation.
Not all protest came in the way or rally and marches in the streets. Under the Trump Presidency we even experience a protest by athletes the shut down the NBA Basketball Playoffs and went to inspire a complete shut down of sport world which was trying to recover from the shutdown of COVID-19. Multiple players in the NBA bubble have discussed sitting out games and even leaving Florida after the police shooting of Jacob Blake, was shot seven times in the back by police on Sunday in Kenosha, Wisc., about 40 miles south of Milwaukee, as he attempted to enter his vehicle where his three children were inside. The Milwaukee Bucks boycotted game 5 of the NBA Playoffs against the Orlando Magic. Houston Rockets, Oklahoma Thunder, Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers and the Portland Trailblazers join the boycott.
Shortly after the beginning of the show, Kenny Smith, Inside the NBA host, just walked off the set, out of the NBA on TNT set in solidarity with the NBA players and their protest against police brutality: “As a black man, as a former player, I think it’s best for me to support the players and just not be here tonight.”
The boycott has forced the national basketball association to reschedule the playoffs. These boycotts have prompted a wave of walkouts across multiple sports in America. Within hours of the bucks boycott, the WNBA, five major league soccer games and, three Major League Baseball games were called off. This was the biggest collective protest in sports history.
When the president called for a slowing down of the postal service in an effort of voters suppression in anticipation of all the Democrats expected to mailing ballots, just under 100 million people took their protest all the way to the ballot box. Standing on historically long lines up to ten and twelve hours in some cities to make sure their votes would be counted. There were long lines an many major cities around the country all the way up to Monday, November 2nd the day before the election.
The Trump Presidency has birthed a progressive protest movement never seen before. We cannot survive four more years of this!