Coalition to Stop Trump and March on the RNC

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Coalition to Stop Trump and March on the RNC , is a front for Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack!, and Workers World Party.

Leaders

Grand Rapids, Michigan-based activist Tom Burke, one of the lead organizers for what’s billed as the Coalition to Stop Trump and March on the RNC, says the protest has two aims. “One is it helps to build movements in this country by tying local groups to national issues. Secondly, it has an impact on the elections because the media starts to cover what the protesters are saying. We have a very different agenda than the Republican Party— and this year, in particular.”[1]Mick Kelly, a spokesperson Coalition to Stop Trump and March on the RNC stated, “We plan on marching right up to the site of the RNC. We insist that our right to protest is respected. The people of this county are rejecting Trump and his racist, anti-immigrant, and anti-Muslim attacks.”

Tom Burke, also of the Coalition states, “Thousands of people are coming to the RNC to protest Trump. Buses are being chartered to come to this protest from as far away as Minnesota, and we plan on being within sight and sound of the RNC on July 18.”

Coalition organizers say they are exploring legal options to challenge the restrictions.

About 40 immigrant rights, student, anti-war, labor, and low-income organizations have announced their support for the protest.

The demonstration will put forward the slogans, “Dump Trump, Say No to the Republican Agenda. Stand Against Racist, Anti-Immigrant, and Anti-Muslim Attacks. We demand Peace, Justice and Equality.”[2]

Permits and plans

The Coalition to Stop Trump and March on the RNC applied for permits from the City of Cleveland May 10, 2016 for a major protest July 18, the first day of the Republican National Convention (RNC). The protest will put forward the slogans, “Dump Trump, Say No to the Republican Agenda,” and “We Demand Peace, Justice and Equality.”

Tom Burke, a spokesperson for Coalition to Stop Trump and March on the RNC states, “We have now applied for permits to march on the RNC and we insist that the permits are granted in a timely manner. We have a right to protest Trump and his racist, reactionary agenda, and that is exactly what we will do on the opening day of the Republican National Convention.”

Mick Kelly, also of the Coalition to Stop Trump and March on the RNC, added, “While the coalition wants permits to ensure the broadest participation in the protest, we will march permits or not.”

The Coalition to Stop Trump and March on the RNC permit application is for a rally at Cleveland Public Square followed by a march down Ontario Street to the Quicken Loans Arena – the site of the RNC.

According to a statement from protest organizers, “Activists from around the country will be converging on Cleveland, Ohio, July 18, the opening day of the Republican National Convention. Inside the convention hall, Republicans will promote their agenda of bigotry, racist discrimination, Islamophobia, war and austerity. On the streets of Cleveland, we will demand peace, justice and equality.”

Many of the organizers of this protest helped lead the mass marches that drew thousands at the 2008 RNC in Saint Paul, Minnesota and the 2012 RNC in Tampa, Florida.[3]

More support

Various marches and a “People’s Convention,” are being planned to counter the RNC. These include a march and rally on July 17, the Sunday before the RNC opens, to “Shut Down Trump and the RNC.” Initial sponsors are the New York and Baltimore chapters of the People’s Power Assembly; the Wisconsin Bail Out the People Movement; the Moratorium Now! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions and Utility Shutoffs; the International Action Center; and the Solidarity Center NYC.

People from as far away as Texas and North Carolina are talking about carpools or even chartering buses to come. The endorser list is growing and includes the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression; the Milwaukee Anti-War Committee; People’s Opposition to War, Imperialism and Racism (POWIR); Students for a Democratic Society at College of DuPage; the United Workers Organization of Wisconsin; the Detroit Active and Retired Employees Association (DAREA); Minnie Bruce Pratt, United Auto Workers Local 1981, National Writers Union (for ID only); the United National Antiwar Coalition; and Muslims for Social Justice.[4]

Gathering momentum

July 11 2016 — "since launching his racist, violent, hate-filled campaign for U.S. president, Donald Trump has met militant opposition at every turn. The Republican National Convention, taking place in Cleveland July 18-22 and where Trump’s nomination is expected, will be no exception. There will be a week of resistance — starting days before the convention even opens".

People will be coming from all over the country to march on Sunday, July 17. The march theme, “Shut down Trump and the RNC,” should set a fighting tone for the many protests — both planned and spontaneous — that will follow in the next few days. The march will gather at 4 p.m. at 36th and Euclid. (Visit iacenter.org; for Facebook use the bitlink Bit.ly/NoTrumpRNC.) After a short warm-up rally, the demonstrators will step off and march through downtown. Participants will stop outside the Quicken Loans Arena, where the RNC will take place, and then resume the march and reassemble at Willard Park for the main rally.

“We will have speakers representing a wide range of struggles — Black Lives Matter, Palestine and the Right to Return, Indigenous demands to scrap the racist mascot of the Cleveland baseball team, doctors marching a few days later against Islamophobia, justice for migrants, LGBTQ rights, Detroiters fighting foreclosure, and many more,” said Cleveland-based march organizer Susan Schnur. “We encourage people to bring signs and banners representing their own struggle against bigotry, economic injustice, and the capitalist system responsible for both.”
The awful murders of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and at least five others over the past week at the hands of racist, trigger-happy police are reminding people that every manifestation of racism must be challenged. As Lydia Bayoneta, longtime Rochester, N.Y., activist and Workers World Party organizer explained, “The racist onslaught of police terror in the United States is part of a worldwide mobilization of racist, Islamophobic, anti-immigrant and reactionary forces. In Cleveland, the eyes of the world will be focused not only on the reactionary forces, but also on the growing resistance within the U.S to racist police terror and all forms of oppression.”

The march has the support of Steelworkers Local 8751, the Boston School Bus Drivers Union. ”The union, for almost half a year, has been discussing, at well-attended membership meetings, the national political scene,” explained Financial Secretary Steve Gillis.

“For Local 8751, with over 900 members, more than 90 percent immigrants, it’s been very clear. The local has made resolutions and joined picket lines and street demonstrations to fight the overt racism, Islamophobia and anti-immigrant bashing that is the Trump campaign. In May and June, Local 8751 voted to endorse and support, with resources, union members and members of the Boston community who want to join with the thousands of people who will be protesting both the Republican and Democratic national conventions. We walk the talk when it comes to union solidarity.”

Many protesters, including the Boston bus drivers, will not stop with opposing the RNC; they will be back in the streets of Philadelphia a week later opposing the Democratic National Convention. As Gillis stated: “For hundreds of our members who were born in Haiti, the Clinton campaign has brought up much anger over the Clinton Foundation’s failure to rebuild housing and infrastructure after the 2010 earthquake, while taking in hundreds of millions of dollars. At every conversation, it is raised that Hillary Clinton’s brother has received a 50-year contract for the profits of the largest gold mine in Haiti.

“The drivers in March voted unanimously to endorse the presidential campaign of Monica Moorehead and Lamont Lilly as reflecting their priorities of better jobs, housing and health care for the drivers’ families and their communities.”

Teresa Gutierrez, the Moorehead-Lilly campaign coordinator, will be speaking on Monday, July 18, at 6 p.m. at the Black on Black Center, 15415 Kipling Ave. in Cleveland.[5]

References