Thousands in the Streets at Minneapolis “Dump Trump!” Protest, October 10



From a reader:

On Thursday night, October 10, in Minneapolis, thousands of people poured into the streets in spirited and defiant protest to defy Trump’s fascist rally. It was the most significant and sizable protest of one of Trump’s rallies that has happened in a long time, maybe the most significant to date. At a defining moment in the country and the world, thousands jam-packed the streets directly in front of Target Center where Trump was holding his rally, declaring “Dump Trump!” Yet this powerful, very timely protest has been largely blacked out by the national media, including independent media, while the size and character of the protest has been distorted in most of the Minneapolis media.

Just days before his rally, Trump had openly declared his refusal to cooperate with the newly opened impeachment inquiry—tweeting a warning of civil war—and now Trump and Pence were both personally appearing in the Twin Cities, a staunchly blue metropolitan area. This was a hard-core fascist mobilization, a double down in the face of the impeachment crisis. There were red-shirted “Cops for Trump” inside who lashed out all week because they were ordered not to wear their uniforms. The Oath Keepers, armed fascist thugs, had announced they would be there. The crowd inside was whipped up with ugly racist diatribes, demonizing the large Somali refugee community in Minneapolis and attacking congressperson Ilhan Omar. All this was in the context of blasting the impeachment proceedings. In ugly demagogic style, Trump used vicious white supremacy to fuel his contempt for Democratic Party opposition, saying Joe Biden was only a good vice president because he “understood how to kiss Barack Obama’s ass.”

In front of Trump’s rally, thousands of protesters flooded the streets. There were Muslim rights groups, immigrant rights groups, labor unions, black bloc anarchists, advocates and activists around indigenous rights, police brutality, trans rights, and many other organizations. People held rainbow flags, antifa flags, abortion rights posters, and lots of homemade signs. People of many generations came out, including high school youths, college students, middle-aged and older people. It was largely middle strata but people who are the immediate targets of Trump’s regime protested, including immigrants, African-Americans, and people from the Somali refugee community.

It became a festival of protest in a very good way—undeterred by rain and growing in numbers over a few hours. There were a lot of signs that said impeach, as well as signs that said Trump should be in jail, Dump Trump, Fuck Trump... and more than one sign that said, “tick tock motherfucker” (as in time to go). Many blew whistles given out by organizers in support of the whistleblower whose complaint forced House Speaker Pelosi to begin the impeachment inquiry. There was a great marching band playing for hours. A well-known club across the street from Target Center had a giant “Baby Trump” balloon on its roof and had publicly announced it was donating proceeds that day to Planned Parenthood.

When asked, many protesters said Trump has to go because of the racism and divisiveness, but there were also signs focused on corruption, and often spontaneously a focus on Trump the person instead of his whole program.

A news report said armed members of the Oath Keepers were briefly detained by police a few blocks from Target Center. Fascists definitely mingled through the crowds of protesters. Many people were not in the mood to put up with supporters of everything represented by Trump, and youths taunted his followers, especially as it got later into the evening. News reports showed videos of a pile of red hats with the Trump slogan “Make America Great Again” getting burned at the end of the night and there was a stand-off with police who used pepper spray directly in protesters’ faces.

Members of the Revolution Club, Chicago and Refuse Fascism, Chicago drove up to Minneapolis to join the protest and work to impact it with the message that the Trump/Pence regime must go NOW and there is a way to do that through the #OutNow movement of sustained, mass, nonviolent protest, beginning in New York City and Los Angeles October 19 and spreading nationwide October 26 and then week after week.

During rush hour the morning of Trump’s rally and the counterprotest, a Refuse Fascism banner was displayed over a busy highway into downtown Minneapolis declaring, “Trump Pence Must Go” which got many honks from motorists.

In the afternoon before the start of the protest, the Chicago contingent set up on a busy downtown street a few blocks away with the banner, “Trump/Pence #OUTNOW.” A member of the Revolution Club got on the loudspeaker, beginning to rally people. This began going live on Facebook to get the word out. Then we marched over to where the protest was starting, bringing with us some of the people just recruited.

One person who joined in said they had been looking for a way to do something but hadn’t known what they could do. They marched with us and helped pass out flyers and ran with the contingent most of the night. This was a common sentiment throughout the night mainly among those who were not activists. Several people found a way to act and took stacks of flyers and be part of getting them out widely.

Throughout the protest, we worked to get the #OutNow message to have the biggest impact possible, and we worked to organize as many people as possible on the spot to take up this mission. The call of “OUT NOW” resonated widely, but it took more work to get people to see what #OutNow actually means and to step forward to take responsibility to help make this happen. We were filmed and photographed by media in English and Spanish (print and radio), while as yet we don’t know if it hit the news.

We worked to widen the #OutNow impact by doing a snake march through the crowds, chanting “Puerto Rico showed us how, Trump and Pence OUT NOW!” through a heavily crowded part of the protest. Jammed in between the crowds of people, many started chanting with us and reached out to grab flyers and pass them along. The people carrying the Trump/Pence #OutNow banner were stopped by people to take photos of the banner. One person grabbed the arm of one of the people carrying the banner insisting, “You have to tell me—what happened in Puerto Rico?”

Several times we posted up in places where people were moving through and spoke over the loudspeaker about how this is a FASCIST regime and why WE have to get in the streets in SUSTAINED protest to drive it from power. Almost every time we started speaking, a crowd of people were listening, filming, and engaging. We broke down how the impeachment on its own won’t stop fascism, why relying on the Democrats and the normal mechanisms of politics hasn’t worked to stop this and won’t work. And there was a visceral reaction among some about how this goes back to the roots of fascism in the history of white supremacy, genocide, as well as empire including the slaughter green-lighted by Trump being carried out at that very moment by Turkish military against Kurdish and Syrian people. People listening divided out, with some walking away as it became clear that #OutNow was calling for something very different than protest as usual. Others became more drawn in. Some youths said that something here was being put together for them that they’d been feeling but don’t hear anyone else saying.

At times we would ask people to raise their hands to become an organizer of the #OutNow movement. When hands went up, we would ask people to come up and speak on the mic and tell others why they were stepping forward and why we need to drive Trump and Pence out now. Most of those who came up to speak were not used to speaking on a mic and finding the words they wanted to say, but in heartfelt ways expressed their frustration with what is happening to people and society.

When it came to people stepping forward as new organizers, some would step forward right away. Others said they can’t because they didn’t feel ready to organize a protest but would come. We worked at trying to help people see both how they can become involved in making this happen even if they are not ready to organize a protest, as well as we are going to need to do new things we’ve never done before because it is what’s needed in the interests of humanity. More could have been done to bring people into the movement on different levels, including with the fundraising.

In one of the later rounds of this, several young people stuck around for a long time listening, and some engaging back and forth. Some got on the mic, and one woman in particular started off saying she couldn’t be an organizer but later came up and said she would become one because Trump and Pence have to go. By the time we left, some people we’d just met had started to come up with beginning plans for a protest in Minneapolis on October 26.

Although thousands of people came together in opposition to Trump’s fascist rally in Minneapolis, not only did the Minneapolis police issue no estimate whatsoever as to the size of the crowd, for the most part Minnesota media coverage completely distorted—in other words, just plain lied—about the huge size of the crowd, stating instead that “hundreds of protesters” came out to oppose Trump. The national media, including independent media, has thus far in the main straight-up whited out the whole protest, overwhelmingly ignoring the indisputably newsworthy fact of the scale and significance of thousands jamming the streets outside Trump’s Minneapolis rally with the demand “Dump Trump!”


Thousands protest Trump in Minneapolis, October 10.
Photo: @ChiRevClub.


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