Reports received on June 30 Protests Around the Country

July 2, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


The following are excerpts from reports received from readers about the June 30 protests against the government’s detention and separation of immigrant families. We encourage others to send reports, observations, photos, and short interviews.

Charlotte, North Carolina

From a reader who interviewed people at the rally:

A mother with her toddler told me that she is here because this violence against children is a tipping point for her. She choked up as she told me that she knows that if our government is willing to do this to other people’s children, they are willing to do this to her own. She went on to say that there is “no such thing” as other people’s children: we are all one human community. She and others I spoke to believe that Trump represents a rejection of basic human solidarity. This mother also told me that the government and society at large has been moving in the “exact opposite direction” than it should be for the last thirty years, with the great mass of people serving a small minority.

I spoke to another woman who told me that she was here solely because of Trump. She said Trump is a fascist and that he was making America lose its place in the world and not representing it well enough. Evidently she does not understand the true nature of America’s “place” as an imperial dominator.

The last people I interviewed were an elderly lesbian couple. They said they had been active their whole lives fighting indifference and contentment, which they said were “tools” of the “imperialists.” When I asked them what they thought about the bigger picture, they told me that Trump and Pence represent only “one head of the Hydra” and that we have to “burn the whole beast.”

There was no heavy police presence, just a few smirking officers hanging out on the opposite side of the street, looking smug as could be.

The only counterprotest to speak of was a few isolated individuals who would scream “TRUMP ROCKS!” or something similar and then sprint off to avoid confrontation.

There was a small group from the DSA present, waving “Abolish ICE” signs. There was a contingent of people from a local group of anarchists and communists called the “People’s United Revolutionary Collective” walking around with hammers and sickles and other radical symbolism handing out flyers telling people to overthrow capitalism and about “Occupy ICE CLT” which they co-organized with the Carolina Workers Collective and starts tomorrow. I’ll be there tomorrow to Occupy with them, that’s for sure.

The only other notable leftist presence was a far-left book/discussion/activism club I organized last year called the Charlotte Leftists. We all took a picture together and I will attach that as well. I’m the one holding the “We have an imperialism problem” sign and my girlfriend is the girl next to me with the “we need a REVOLUTION” sign. I hand-painted both because I do not have access to a printer.

New York City

This spirited march of tens of thousands was broad, spirited, and animated by a deep hatred for Trump and his assaults on immigrants and refugees and a deep certitude that tearing children from their parents’ arms was an outrage that can’t be tolerated. “I have an 8-year-old and just can’t imagine myself being separated from her,” one woman said. “I can’t imagine how I’d feel if this happened.” A Black woman said she was marching in loving memory of her ancestors whose families had been ripped from the land and torn apart by slavery, and out of compassion for those it was happening to now.

A lot of different organizations—immigrant, labor, religious, and political—had turned out. The Revolution Club NYC and Refuse Fascism both had contingents with very visible banners. Many families came with children. There were groups of friends. The signs were overwhelmingly handmade. Many were marching for the first time. The great majority were middle class and white, mainly not political activists, with some Black people and immigrants there as well. They were brought out by this latest outrage, the accumulation of outrages, and a sense of real alarm that the Trump government’s outrages are accelerating and ominous.

There were a few who had a clearer sense that this is a fascist regime, and some of its features. But many would say things like there are signs of fascism, or elements of fascism, or things could go in that direction. Many hadn’t engaged the question at all, seeing things instead as a series of separate bad things, although there were more than a few who linked this with the promotion of white supremacy. People didn’t get why all this is happening, and overwhelmingly still thought working through the system’s channels and elections was part of the solution, even as many were frustrated with the Democrats and saw the need for protest and resistance.

It was interesting to ask people why they thought people came here, what was America’s responsibility, if any, in driving people to immigrate here. Some hadn’t really even thought of the question. Others saw it in terms of America’s marketing of itself as a beacon of freedom. But several from south of the border spoke of the U.S. making it impossible for people to live in their home countries, of the U.S. installing dictators in country after country, of rich countries like America living off the “periphery.” “What would drive a mother to put her child on her back and jump in the water to get here?” one asked.

San Francisco Bay Area

In the San Francisco Bay Area, there was a major protest of tens of thousands. There were also over 20 smaller protests in cities around the area. Some of these had 1,000 people, others hundreds. I heard from people who had been in Oakland, Richmond, Concord and Fremont.

Politically, in SF there was a diversity of speakers—an immigrant just out of detention with husband and children still in detention, and a range of other people speaking for and representing the immigrants, including people from Mexico, Central America, and elsewhere; Yemenis; 6 SF members of the Board of Supervisors; Joan Baez; a rabbi for Bend the Arc; a descendent of victims of the Holocaust; Native Americans; Muslims; LGBTQ people; people campaigning against police brutality; unions; the ACLU; etc. Refuse Fascism also spoke (at the very end of the rally).

In broad strokes, some advocated strongly for elections as crucial and decisive. Some did not mention elections explicitly, but this was the framework they were proceeding from. A few speakers criticized individual Democrats (one exposed Senator Feinstein for her role in the 1990s in building up the repressive machinery against the immigrants.) But no one except Refuse Fascism argued that the people, stepping outside the “normal channels,” have to drive out the regime—let alone that the Democratic Party upholds order and empire, not justice, even the order of fascism.

In terms of who is gathering, in broad strokes, this was a voting crowd—open to new ideas, but not radical. But angry and looking for answers to what the fuck is going on—within the framework of American democracy, which they see is under attack. In most of the outlying cities, the people who came were largely white, even in Oakland.

The Refuse Fascism contingent carried a large banner in the march, and distributed several thousand copies of the Refuse Fascism flyer for July 7, and copies of the Call to Action.


Thousands of people took to the streets to demand “Keep Families Together.” For several hours, with two rallies, and two marches, the downtown streets echoed with chants including “Free the Children Now,” “No Hate No Fear, Immigrants Are Welcome Here,” “No baby jails,” “Trump Escucha Estamos En La Lucha,” “This is what democracy looks like,” and “Abolish ICE.” Along with that, the Refuse Fascism contingent led a section of the march in chants, “Immigrants Stay, Trump/Pence Go,” “No Muslim Ban, No Border Wall, No Fascist USA,” “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA.”  For a while, there were chants between the Refuse Fascism contingent and others—”Drive them out” vs. “Vote them out.”

People came out from all kinds of places and backgrounds, from Houston, surrounding areas, and Beaumont. For many this was their first protest. One woman said, “I’m one of the people who send money. This is the first protest I’ve been to. When I saw the children in cages, I had to come out into the streets.” A white guy said that he has a 5-year-old daughter and he said that he could not look her in the face one day and say, “I did nothing.”

A Refuse Fascism volunteer said, “Today I felt like I had something very special to offer and the people were searching for their way to connect.” She said that most people agreed that “this has to stop” and each time she began shouting that “we have a plan of how to rid ourselves of the Trump/Pence regime,” 5-7 hands asked for material.

One thing that was striking was how many people came up to RF and said that we have to keep protesting and not stop. There were numerous analogies made by people to Nazi Germany. One Chicano woman talked about how they are taking away our democratic rights. A young white couple came up and asked for the sticker “In the Name of Humanity We Refuse To Accept a Fascist America.” When asked why they wanted that sticker, the guy rapidly started turning red and he was about to cry. He said that his family was Jewish and they had died in the concentration camps in Germany. He took materials to get out at his synagogue.

People were very interested in BA’s film “The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! In the Name of Humanity We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America. A Better World IS Possible” and several people said that they plan on coming to the film showing tomorrow.

There was a lot of struggle over elections—that was one of the main themes from the stage. In the crowd, people kept expressing that they thought “we need to vote” but also “we can’t wait that long.” There was a lot of talk about the role of the Democratic Party leaders. One woman said that she thinks “the Democrats are afraid that we will go after them.”

The Refuse Fascism table was swarmed by people to get RF flyers, stickers, signs and palm cards of BA’s talk.

Los Angeles

Tens of thousands of people rallied and marched in Los Angeles to protest immigrant children being taken away from their parents by the fascist Trump/Pence regime. The rally was held in Grand Park at the LA civic center, where John Legend and Jimmy “Taboo” Gomez of the Black Eyed Peas performed. People began gathering at the park before 10 am with the rally scheduled to begin at 11 am, but people were still streaming into the park at 12 pm. The park couldn’t hold the size of the crowd as people filled out into the streets around the park and towards downtown LA. Before the rally ended, an anxious group of protesters took to the streets to march to the LA Federal Detention Center where immigrants are being held. People broke out of the rally and joined the march. This march was angrier than some of the most recent LA marches and protests. The bulk of the crowd was made up of individuals and families with many, many homemade signs that expressed their anger.

The Revolution Club was a part of this group. They led chants and distributed a leaflet, “As Children Are Being Ripped Away From Their Parents and Tortured On the Border...WE NEED AN ACTUAL REVOLUTION AND WE NEED YOU TO BE A PART OF IT!” The backside of the leaflet invited people to attend the ANTI-July 4 picnic, “America Was NEVER Great!” They were also getting out the pamphlet, “HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution.” They called on people to join the Revolution Club.

Once the march reached the Detention Center several hundred people stopped and surrounded it as the rest of the march went by. Groups of people were chanting and calling out to those who were being held inside. You could see the detainees waving their hands and acknowledging the people in the streets. People were chalking messages to the detainees on the sidewalk below. As of 3 pm, there were still 150-200 people at the Detention Center with the Revolution Club leading them in chants.


An estimated 60,000 people gathered in and around Daley Plaza, center of downtown Chicago. In the crowd were all different nationalities, genders, and age groups. At the rally, one young woman spoke movingly about how her father may have been deported. A physician talked about emigrating to the U.S. from India when she was two years old in order to seek medical care. She described the “toxic trauma” she sees now in Chicago among children who live in constant fear of their families being split up. Two other young undocumented immigrants talked about how they are now part of the community here and that ICE should be abolished. The last speaker said the government needs to repeal the 2003 immigration bill that led to the establishment of ICE in the first place.

The Revolution Club set out to have a big impact with agitation and their banner: “This System Cannot Be Reformed, It Must be Overthrown” and “We Need an ACTUAL Revolution And We Need YOU to be a Part of It!” 100 picket signs went out saying, “We Don’t Have an Immigration Problem.... We Have an Imperialism Problem.” The Rev Club set up right at the entrance to the plaza with Noche Diaz agitating to the crowds as they poured in. Thousands of cards got out about the BA film.

At noon, the march headed to the Chicago ICE office. It stopped briefly so the band could play a rendition of “The Imperial March” from Star Wars before looping back north on Dearborn. The march fed back into the plaza but not before a struggle broke out between some Christian fascists calling out abortion and a section of the crowd calling them out.

There was a sentiment that something cruel and inhuman is going on and some sentiment that this is fascism. A Japanese contingent came marching in with signs with photos of the Japanese concentration camps in the USA during World War 2, saying “Never Again is Now.”

A popular sign read, “No One is Illegal on Stolen Ground.” One woman had a sign, “Apartheid was legal, the holocaust was legal, legality is a matter of power, not justice.” A woman in her 40s from El Salvador carried a sign, “Why are they here?” pointing out that the U.S. backed war had killed thousands and driven others from her country. There were signs about genocide—one saying it’s unacceptable and another characterizing this as the first stage of genocide. At one point the monitors, many from different churches and religious groups, organized a line in front of the stage to protect undocumented people on the stage from any attempts by the police to go after them. Even though lots of people were into voting, there was also a feeling that there needs to be more actions and protest.

Fort Bragg, California

500-plus marched and rallied in this Northern California community of 7,000 people in Mendocino County, including workers from the wine & tourist industry, retirees & environmentalists—the majority of participants were women, and several local organizations built for the event throughout the area. There was a contingent of high school students from the local high school, which is 40% Latino. There was some debate about whether elections are the way forward, but there was much sentiment for NOT waiting, that “the time is now to act,” as one older woman said, “Trump’s gone too far—he’s got to go!” 300 leaflets about the upcoming Refuse Fascism demonstrations on July 7 were gotten out, and contacts were made with people to make something happen that day in Fort Bragg.

Honolulu, Hawai`i

Today more than 2,500 people held signs, marched, chanted, listened, and socialized. Refuse Fascism had a table and people eagerly snatched up the neon-orange Refuse Fascism stickers. When others saw it they crowded the table and signed up for actions, picked up the Call, and asked for more stickers for their families (we ran out too quickly). The march was loud. A guy showed up with a big “Jesus” sign and begin yelling that we were all going to hell. Marchers started yelling, “Shame! Shame!”—then everyone began chanting at the top of their lungs and kept it up all the way back to the Capitol. A posse of young women (14-16 years) took the bullhorn and led the chants. When we got back to the Capitol Rotunda the chants got louder, becoming a rally of hundreds shouting, clapping, and stomping their feet. At the rally, someone from Refuse Fascism led the crowd in repeating: This Nightmare Must End! The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! She got a huge applause when she agitated against being civil to fascists and then challenged everyone to step up and “do what the German people failed to do: Stop Fascism!”


Several thousand people came out for the Cleveland “Keep Families Together” June 30th rally. Speakers included immigrants under attack, lawyers, and mental health counselors—all expressing deep outrage against Trump separating migrant children from their parents. A Black woman who was active in the civil rights struggle of the ‘60s spoke for Refuse Fascism. She said to stop Trump’s nightmares we need today to have the same courage and determination that the civil rights activists had in the ‘60s. She led the crowd to respond after her, “Trump and Pence Must Go!” They responded enthusiastically. They also applauded her call to demonstrate on July 7 to drive out the Trump/Pence regime.


Charlotte, NC

Civic Plaza, Albuquerque, NM

Houston, TX

Honolulu, HI

Cleveland, OH

Cleveland, OH

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