Sunday, January 22, 2017

Thousands Turn Out in the Northland for Women's Rights and Against Trump

The past few days have seen an explosion of activism across the Northland. In response to the inauguration of Donald Trump as president, people across the region have turned out to protest against this right wing demagogue. Literally thousands participated in events in the Twin Ports alone, with hundreds more gathering in outlaying communities.

On Friday, the actual day of the inauguration over 200 people gathered at the Sacred Heart building in Duluth for a People’s Inauguration. Numerous activist groups came together to table, share resources and speakers, and pledge resistance against the new administration. Among the highlights of the event was a pair of impassioned speeches by activists from Standing Rock.

Saturday, Jan. 21 saw a massive Women’s March through downtown Duluth's Skywalk system. Taking place at the same time as the national Women’s March in DC., this solidarity action drew an astonishing 1,400 people!Not since the early anti-war protests in 2003 has our region seen protests of this magnitude.

Elsewhere in the region 427 held a Women’s March in Bayfield, while another 400 held a march in Minocqua. Farther afield, 75,000 – 100,000 people marched in Madison, WI while 90,000 - 100,000 marched in St. Paul, MN. Half a million people marched in the main protest in Washington DC., including dozens of activists from the Northland who traveled there by bus.

Later that same day, the Twin Ports Women’s Rights Coalition held a glow in the dark protest using glow sticks of three dozen people to mark the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. And after that a fundraiser for the Women’s Health Center at the Bent Paddle Brewery drew over 100 people.

Rounding out the weekend were dueling pro-choice and anti-choice actions at the Duluth Building for Women on Sunday. A right-wing religious group, calling itself the Jericho March, planned an anti-choice march. In response, the HOTDISH Militia held a Party in the Plaza, which evolved into a counter-protest of about 40 people that successfully stood in two rows of picketers, and thus blocked the smaller anti-choice march from having their signs seen by passing motorists.

All told it is estimated that over 4 MILLION people protested this weekend in support of women’s rights, and against the new Trump administration. It is believed this is the largest series of protests in the nation’s history! We here at Socialist Action salute everyone who turned out, and we look forward to working with you in the days and months ahead as the resistance continues!

>> The article above was written by Adam Ritscher.  In the order they appear, the photos are by Jamie Ratliff [first two], Jeff Rennicke and Pamela Arseth Nault.

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