The Resistance Begins

Riot police trying to prevent protesters from blocking an entrance to the mall at 1st and D Streets in Washington, D.C. CreditVictor J. Blue for The New York Times


It is beginning. At several inauguration entrance checkpoints, different groups of protesters are locked down. “We have nothing to lose but our chains!” chant the Black Lives Matter protesters, literally using chains to shut down an entrance. A massive banner proclaims, “The Future is Feminist!” At another corner, rainbow-clad protesters break out into a spontaneous dance party.

This morning, though, I’m thinking of Luciano Balbuena, a grandfather and a retail janitor in Minneapolis, who cleans Home Depot stores for $9.50 an hour and whose only raise came when the state minimum increased. Mr. Balbuena is on strike today with many other janitors in the Twin Cities.

“We are trying to put a stop to the poverty wages,” Mr. Balbuena told me yesterday. “Donald Trump, he supports these low wages and he has said that he doesn’t think workers deserve better wages.”

And I’m thinking of Richard Robinson, also a grandfather. Mr. Robinson, a veteran and former truck driver, now lives on Social Security. I met him in the rain on Tuesday standing outside the Goldman Sachs building in New York. He had come all the way from Utah to join a protest of the bank’s influence in the incoming Trump administration.

Mr. Robinson voted for Mr. Trump, he told me, “on the assumption that he was going to keep a promise and drain the swamp, not fill it deeper.” Now, he’s decided those promises were smoke and mirrors. Mr. Robinson and dozens of others spent the week sleeping on the damp sidewalk.

Around the country, today and tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of people are expected to protest this administration. Many, like Mr. Balbuena, were targets of the campaign from the start: Latino workers blamed for the lack of jobs for Americans, queer and transgender people threatened with legalized discrimination, women who see “Grab them by the pussy” echoed in the reported plans to cuts to grant programs for victims of domestic violence.

But with people like Mr. Robinson already joining the protests, something else is happening. As Americans have lost faith in their elected officials, they have also proved willing to challenge politicians and take power into their own hands. The resistance in the days to come will set the tone for the Trump administration.

Sarah Jaffe is the author of “Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt.”



About Uy Do

Banking System Analyst, former NTT data Global Marketing Dept Senior Analyst, Banking System Risk Specialist, HR Specialist
This entry was posted in Uncategorized, US economic, US economy, US President. Bookmark the permalink.

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