Philadelphia: Rally and Dance Party to Support the J20 Inauguration Protestors

November 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


The following are edited excerpts from a report we received from Philadelphia.

On November 11 over 50 people gathered in front of Philadelphia’s Art Museum to hold a rally and dance party to draw support for the J20 protestors—over 200 people ensnared in legal battles due to their righteous resistance that took place at Trump’s inauguration last January. At the time of writing, 194 of those protestors will begin their trials in November and December. Each is facing an average of 75 years in federal prison.

The rally included a march with huge puppets depicting Trump, a riot cop, and an older woman to symbolize the infamous incident where police attacked protestors. The Trump puppet was holding a hooded Klansmen with “Very Fine People” written on it—referring to Trump’s despicable comments in the wake of the fascist rally at Charlottesville and the murder of Heather Heyer—where he exposed his clear support for the bloodthirsty fascist foot soldiers.

A huge line of police forced protestors to remain on the sidewalk at first. The protestors remained defiant and set up speakers, drums, and a long procession of banners and signs calling for J20 solidarity. The dance party began, with many onlookers taking in the display of a joyous yet determined rally facing off against a line of bike patrol pigs trying to shield people from seeing what was going on. Their signs and banners read “Stand with J20,” “Drop the Charges,” “Smash Fascism,” “Color Coordination is Not a Crime” (a reference to particular antifascist black bloc tactics of wearing all-black at actions to protect their identities), “Fight Political Repression” and “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA.”

A speak-out began once the energy was up. One man spoke to the very real implications of the severity of the charges that the J20 protestors face—to “chill” and “criminalize dissent.” This speaks to the road to normalization of fascism that has consistently sounded the alarm about and the importance of Point #3 of what Refuse Fascism has resolved to do (“Every outrage committed by this regime must be met with greater and greater resistance.”) in its Call to Action.

A young woman then spoke of how 194 of those facing charges are defiantly choosing to go to trial rather than take a plea deal, against all fear and repression. This bold decision will in turn put a mirror to the fascists in power and indict their very system.

Rally participants then held a powerfully moving reenactment of the kettling incident (where riot police encircle and compress a protest) using their massive puppets. Through this street theater they recounted the vicious police assault and roundup of over 200 protestors at the inauguration, where they were beaten and doused with pepper spray by the rioting pigs.

Onlookers watching the rally were receptive and many readily took up palm cards about upcoming protests from Refuse Fascism. Some did not know what had happened at the inauguration, but many others (lots of tourists) nodded in approval once the #J20 hashtag was explained.



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