Some Scenes from November 4 Across the Country

Updated November 8, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


We are still learning about all that happened across the country on November 4. The highlights here from a few of the cities give a sense of the day.

New York City

Fifteen hundred people of all ages and nationalities converged on Times Square in Manhattan on Saturday afternoon to declare their determination to “Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime!” You could feel the sense of seriousness, as well as the spirit and excitement of being among such a large and diverse group of people who were taking the same pledge not to stop until this fascist regime is driven out of power! Refuse Fascism’s striking white on black signs were everywhere, held up by young and old—”This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime MUST GO!”

The people acting with a real sense of community and purpose included those who had only recently learned about Refuse Fascism and November 4. A college-age woman first learned about the demonstrations from Facebook. She said the Refuse Fascism slogan resonated personally for her because she is a part of the LGBT community: “I can’t stand what this regime represents.” She said she’d been talking with others around her about Refuse Fascism and November 4. What message was she going to take back to the people who must become a part of driving out this regime? “If you’re not a part of this, no one’s going to be here to defend you if you don’t come and defend us.”

A recent college graduate said he agreed strongly—“100 percent”—with Refuse Fascism’s overall slogan. “We’ve seen it before. History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes, as they say... There’s a lot of things going on right now that should worry you. And I’ve read enough to know that something has to be done. This is a start, and the endgame for me, obviously, is the removal of the Trump regime from power. If reality is on our side, and the truth resonates with people, then it will be successful.”

The rally that kicked off the day’s events gave a glimpse of the breadth of people coming forward, as well as a strong orientation for everyone who had come. Sunsara Taylor and Jam No Peanut were co-MCs, and Jay W. Walker, a member of Refuse Fascism’s steering committee and an initiator of Gays Against Guns, spoke for Refuse Fascism NYC. Moving statements of solidarity were read from Eve Ensler, Gloria Steinem, and the Grammy Award-winning composer and musician Arturo O’Farrill. Iman Souleimane Konate spoke for the Muslim community. Andy Zee, a co-initiator of Refuse Fascism, delivered the keynote speech, and the rap artist Immortal Technique spoke briefly and performed a rhyme. Father Luis Barrios, Holyrood Church/Iglesia Santa Cruz and John Jay College, City University of New York, spoke. And there were statements from college and high school students. The leadership from the stage projected the seriousness of this moment and what the people there, and across the country were setting out to do, why this is what had to be done to drive this regime out, and the determination and confidence that it can be achieved.

As the protesters set out on their 50-block march through lower Manhattan—the signs aloft almost as far as you could see, and the chants echoing continuously—the announcement in the streets that a new phase of the struggle to Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime had begun reached tens of thousands of New Yorkers, and international tourists. And at the same time, the marchers were sending pictures, videos, and messages everywhere through social media.

Over the next two weeks, there will be continuing protests in New York—and on November 11 and 18, days of national demonstrations called by Refuse Fascism. What began on November 4 needs to go to a new level, and open the way for the thousands to grow to hundreds of thousands and to millions, acting on a unifying demand: the Trump/Pence Regime Must GO!

Austin, Texas: Courage in the Face of Armed Fascist Thugs

About 45 people gathered on the steps of City Hall, rallied, and marched for about a mile through the streets of downtown—in the face of over 200 threatening fascist thugs, many of them openly armed with semi-automatic weapons, knives, machetes, clubs, and shields. Many others boasted of carrying concealed weapons. Some were on rooftops of surrounding buildings. Police prevented an unknown number of people from entering both the rally and march.

The entire event was an intense face-off. But march organizers, MCs, and participants were able to maintain focus on the day’s goal—beginning a process that can turn the thousands who turned out nationwide today into tens of thousands, and ultimately millions, staying in the streets until the nightmare is ended. Several speakers contributed to the rally, among them: a minister, a youth from Austin, a middle-class woman at her first protest, a man who led the crowd in a powerful anti-fascist sing-along, a school teacher who condemned the fascist attacks on public education, another young teacher who passionately and viscerally focused everyone’s attention on people across the planet who already have been killed and victimized by the Trump/Pence regime. All this in the face of a seething mob of fascists and walls of police.

Every time the fascists tried to disrupt the rally and march with their “USA” chants and other provocations, they were drowned out by chants of “humanity first.” This was taken up enthusiastically and energetically by all the protesters. A young Black woman said later that day, “Our actions were righteous, our collectivity, our activities were more powerful than theirs. We’re not afraid of their flags, weapons, president, any of that. They want to create a whole new way of life. We’re saying no, we’re not going to let this country become fascist.”

Afterward, several of the protesters gathered. An immigrant from a Middle Eastern country raised his glass of tea in a toast and said, “Here’s to all the brave ones.” A young Black woman from Houston said, “I was feeling a lot of nervousness this morning, but when I got out there, I felt the nerves went away. We didn’t back down, we kept humanity in our hearts. And I felt the nervousness that had been eating at me went out.”

The march ended with discipline. As the last group of protesters gathered to leave, a knot of dozens of fascists faced off at them, with a double line of police in between. The fascists began reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. The protesters still there took a knee, raised a fist, and people concluded the day by drowning out the fascists one more time: “Humanity First, Humanity First.”

Chicago: Marching to the Beat of Anti-Fascist Drummers

At least 300 people, possibly more, participated—a Black man in his 50s said, “It felt like we were thousands.” It was incredibly spirited with a bunch of drummers from Degenerate Artists Against Fascism—the Chicago Tribune described them as the protest’s “percussion section”—keeping the beat. Despite hundreds of bike police lining the march, many people joined in as the march went to Trump Tower.

A diverse mix of rally speakers included Minister Edward Ward, who became notorious in 2016 while a student at DePaul University for shouting down Milo Yiannopoulos; a white high school student; Bishop Gregg Greer; Salman Aftab of the American Muslim Task Force on Civil Rights and Elections; Catholic priest and long-time activist Bob Bossie; a spokesperson from Two Spirits indigenous LGBTQ movement; and Noche Diaz of the Revolution Club.

Among the protesters were at least three groupings of high school students, one from a suburban Catholic school, another from a suburb of Milwaukee. College students came, often in ones or twos, from many different schools, including Columbia College and the prestigious School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). There were also students from University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), and Dominican University.

There were also middle-aged and older people there, including a woman who said that she had considered herself a socialist for years but now had to act on her convictions. This was the first time she had been to a protest in many, many years. There were a number of people in Bernie shirts and people who had been active in his campaign.

San Francisco: Hundreds in the Streets Defy City’s Permit Denial

Leading up to November 4, there was an intense battle with the city authorities over the permit for the protest, which, outrageously, was denied. In the face of this, there were at least 300 people at the rally in Union Square in the heart of the downtown shopping area, and over 400 at the high point of the four-mile march that went through the Castro area and the Mission district. Among the speakers at the rally were a representative of La Colectiva; Steve Rapport, member of SF Indivisible and impeachment activist; a student from UC Berkeley; Christina DiEdoardo, civil rights activist and reporter for Bay Area Reporter.

There were small groups of students from Stanford, Berkeley City College, UC Berkeley, SF State University (where students are planning an event on Monday), and others, including high schools. A woman came from Reno, Nevada. There were immigrants, tourists from places like Japan and Italy who joined the protest, and a range of local activists including from Code Pink and Veterans for Peace.

Los Angeles: Religious People, Latino Youth, and Others in Defiant, Spirited Action

About 1,000 people rallied and hundreds marched in downtown. The march was defiant and very spirited with a large grouping of young Latinos. People marched with fists raised and chanted all the way, calling on those on the sidewalks with the chant, “Trump and Pence MUST go, march with us.”

There was a strong presence of religious people—those making statements included Rev. Frank Alton of St. Athanasius Episcopal Church and Father Richard Estrada and Rev. Tom Carey of the Church of the Epiphany. Others speaking at the rally included Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq; Graywolf, Director of AIMSoCal (American Indian Movement Southern California); and Isabel Cardenas, Salvadoran-American activist and an initiator of Refuse Fascism.

A contingent of about two dozen Trump supporters were across the street from the rally, with a few coming across the street and trying to disrupt the protest, to no avail.

Philadelphia: The “Trump Rat” and Giant Nightmare Puppet

The creative ways to bring out the serious message of November 4 included a “Trump Rat,” a 15-food inflatable caricature, with Confederate-flag cufflinks; a giant “Trump/Pence Nightmare” puppet, which people knocked down at one point; a Trump-masked person in an “Alt-White House” that looked like a jail cell; banners and signs contributed by artists; and powerful poems and songs at the rally. A march of 250 people at its height went through the downtown streets, calling on others to join. A group of pro-Trump reactionaries, some armed, followed the march, but as one marcher noted, “We made clear that the people of the world were depending on us, that [the Trumpites] were just another reason why we must get these fascists out of the White House, and people refused to be intimidated.”

Honolulu, Hawaii: An Incredibly Diverse Mix

About 250 people took to the streets of Honolulu in a spirited march through some of the city's busiest streets. They were an incredibly diverse mix. Small kids proudly chanted "No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA" alongside protesters in their 80s. They were of all ethnicities and races—and a few were visitors from other countries. Most brought their own creative handmade signs reflecting the nightmares listed in the Call for November 4th. Others brought flags. Rainbow flags flew beside flags from Korea, Puerto Rico, and Hawai`i, and there wasn't a U.S. flag amongst them.

The march ended at historic Thomas Square, a park of great historical importance for native Hawaiian people, and also the site of Hawai`i's Occupy movement. As marchers entered the park, a band on the stage welcomed them in. People listened raptly as the Refuse Fascism spokesperson delivered the keynote speech. Throughout the afternoon people remarked on its strength and clarity. A visitor from the Philippines asked for a copy so that he could quote it on his blog back home, and another from Myanmar said she had never expected an American to speak so boldly. 

Community activists from a number of organizations spoke to each of the nightmares. Speakers were strong, passionate, and determined. An immigration attorney spoke movingly about the fear of her clients; the executive director of the Sierra Club denounced Trump's environmental policies; and an agricultural specialist from Guatemala addressed the effects of Trump's policies on the world's people. An internationally recognized Korean activist, who has herself visited North Korea seven times, choked up as she talked about the threat of a nuclear attack on North Korea and the effect the attack would have on millions throughout Korea, Guam, and Hawai`i. Col. Ann Wright (ret.) joined her in calling on everyone to stand up against Trump's cries for war. A Hawaiian independence activist denounced the militarization of Hawai`i and the ongoing and increasing attacks on Hawaiian lands and peoples.

Emotion-filled calls for people to fight together, to protect each other, and to have the courage to resist, was one of the real strengths of the rally.

Everyone listened intently as poets spoke to their "souls," spitting out rhymes about everything from Colin Kaepernick to critical thinking in the schools.

Going into November 4th, organizers had received a lot of threats from reactionary trolls saying they were going to shut down the march, disrupt the rally, run protesters over, and the like. When people gathered at the park on the 4th, there were a number of Trumpites hovering nearby, some with their MAGA (Make America Great Again) caps and video cameras. About 6-8 Proud Boys showed up to "interview" protesters for their incendiary community TV show, but when the MC exposed them the crowd treated them with disgust and they backed away.


Between 125 and150 people came together at the Parkman Bandstand in the Boston Commons to add their voices to those around the country demanding "This Nightmare Must End! The Trump Pence Regime Must Go!" People traveled from as far away as Providence, Rhode Island and Vermont to be part of the day. There was tremendous breadth in the crowd—which included longtime peace activists to first-time participants. There were students from local campuses including Boston University, Wellesley Colllege, and Massachusetts College of the Arts, high school students from a suburban community, and others. People had heard about November 4th from a wide range of sources—including articles that had appeared in the Boston Metro and the Boston Globe in the days leading up to the 4th, as well as various social media sites and from posters they had seen on their campuses. Others came off the Refuse Fascism email blasts or simply by going to the RF website. A number commented that this was the first time they had come to a demonstration. Others spoke to the personal inner struggle to make the decision to step into the streets but of being proud to be there.

In response to heightened concerns of disruptions by fascist thugs, young Antifa activists along with members of Veterans for Peace came both to participate in the event and to work with organizers to prevent the rally from being derailed in any way. When right-wing provocateurs did attempt to disrupt the rally, the vets and the Antifa activists came together with Refuse Fascism marshals to prevent it from occurring.

In addition to Refuse Fascism, there were statements from the Boston May Day Coalition and the Revolutionary Communist Party. There were also statements from Academics Against Fascism, Manny Lusardi, City of Cambridge Immigrant Liaison Office, and a young Salvadoran woman, among others, who spoke with deep passion to the personal experience of her family immigrating to the U.S. The rally was kicked off with a local folk singer doing a rendition of "Deportee." 

As the sun went down and the temperature dropped, a boisterous march of 50 people took off into the busy streets of downtown Boston, periodically stopping and fanning out as the Refuse Fascism light show was projected off the walls of the buildings.


The demo and march of about 175 people was very spirited, in pouring rain. About 30 or so fascists, some armed, tried to disrupt but did not succeed. Many people came despite knowing about threats from fascists, and others joined on the spot. It was a very diverse crowd in age and nationality. As organizers went around the crowd with a microphone for people to speak out, one homeless man said, “My nightmare is that this nightmare won’t end.” Others talked about Trump’s bragging of sexual assault and attacks on LGBTQ people. The aunt of Jamarion Robinson, who was shot 76 times by police, spoke.


About 65 people marched and rallied with great determination and high spirits in the face of armed fascist militias and assorted other fascists trying, and failing, to disrupt. There were people of a wide range of ages, backgrounds, and political perspectives. Many had only recently learned of this movement—from a flier on the street, at their church, or on social media. Others have been following Refuse Fascism from the email list or through the RF website. The spirit of unity, determination, and that we CAN drive them out was projected by the rally MCs and speakers. Several protesters said they had heard the threats of fascist violence against the protest, seriously considered if they should come and decided to because the people have to end this nightmare.

One rally speaker, who identified herself as an organizer in her housing project, said, “We need organization. I’m going to take this to every group I’m part of. It will take different groups to unite and stop Trump. He has to go—cuts in Medicaid, in Medicare, more mass incarceration, he has to go! His cabinet is racist, got to go. We need to have more protest like this. I’m going back and bring many more!” A gay college student spoke with passion on the need to drive out the regime. A gospel singer came to the mic on the spur of the moment and performed Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Goin’ On” and “Choice of Colors,” a capella. A Black youth who just learned about this movement at his church spoke about how Trump is the worst president he knows of and we need to get him out.


A local TV news station reported that about 100 people marched through downtown—“demanding an end to what they called ‘our national nightmare.’” The station quoted one protester saying, “I’m sick of the way things are going in this administration. They’re putting us on the brink of nuclear war. This has to stop.”

An activist with Indivisible was one of the co-MCs at the rally, and among the speakers was Weldon Nisly, a retired Mennonite pastor and a member of the Christian Peacemaker Team who was in Baghdad when George W. Bush launched the “shock and awe” bombing and invasion of Iraq in 2003; and Tae Phoenix, an international recording artist and activist. Jenn Wallen, a Native American scholar, poet, humanitarian, activist, musician, and artist, opened the rally with a convocation and blessing.


In a number of cities: Small Groups Acting with Tremendous Resolve and Sense of Community

In some areas, handfuls of people courageously stepped out, defying the fascist threats of violence—with a determined sense of purpose and of being part of a community, a movement across the country that was beginning on that day acting in the name of humanity to call on others to step forward. Among them were:

Indianapolis, Indiana: About a dozen people rallied—opposed by a similar number of pro-Trumpites.

Akron, Ohio: Seven people came out, including Rev. John Beaty—co-convener of Embracing Justice and Peace, member of Akron Interfaith Immigration Advocates, retired United Methodist clergy active in Grace United Church of Christ of Loyal Oak in Norton, Ohio—who made a statement saying in part, “They are talking like fascists, looking like fascists, entertaining white nationalist neo-Nazis in the highest echelons of government. Do you think they just might be fascists? This Nightmare Must End! The Trump/Pence regime MUST GO!”

Pittsfield, Massachusetts: The local newspaper, Berkshire Eagle, reported in part: “Shortly after 1 p.m., about two dozen people had gathered at Park Square, holding signs and waving at passing motorists. Indivisible Pittsfield organized the small rally in solidarity with a national push against what organizers say is a shift toward political fascism.”

Falmouth, Massachusetts:





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