“Unless we defeat capitalism in the United States, humanity will not survive”
Somebody on Twitter put out a request for on-scene reporting from the antifa organized protest against Donald Trump. The protest started at Columbus Circle near my apartment, so I decided to check it out.
The plan was to march to Trump Tower on 5th Ave. I stayed for the Columbus Circle rally, but left before the march when my phone ran out of battery.
I had actually live streamed video of over an hour of the rally, including all the speakers, using the Periscope app. Here’s an embed should you be interested. Speakers start at around 31:00. (If the video embed doesn’t display, click over to watch on You Tube).
You can hear me talk during parts of the video. I’m responding to questions that came in via Periscope while streaming.
Five thousand people RSVPd for the event on Facebook. I estimate a couple hundred participated. There were probably another 50-100 journalists and spectators there too.
A very small group of Trump supporters gathered on Central Park West.
The police had the Trump International Hotel and Tower barricaded off, but mostly kept their distance from the protest.
That worked. While there were some reports of scuffles at Trump Tower, this protest was very peaceful. In fact, by the standards of NYC, the crowd was exceptionally polite. You could slip through to move to the front, mill around, etc. and people would let you through.
The event largely had a pep rally atmosphere. A lot of the signs and such employed humor. This was like a trip to the carnival more than what happened in Chicago.
“We all stand here demonizing this asshole Trump, and his racism, and his fascism, and his sexism, and his Islamophobia. But we must be clear that this is not new. For those of us who have been in the streets, this is everyday America for us.”
The protesters were mostly a mix of radical left activists (antifa’s, socialists) and Bernie Sanders supporters. Hillary Clinton drew a lot of jeers when she was mentioned. There were some Black Lives Matter signs, but this was a largely white rally and this appeared to be more of a nod to BLM than actual BLM participation. You get the impression these folks do a lot of protesting. Various speakers made clear that Trump is only a symptom of what they are upset about.
“People like Hillary Clinton have actually been funding that wall and deporting people.”
“We hear often that the Republican Party produced Trump. America produced Trump.”
“What solution? Revolution! What solution? Revolution! What solution? Revolution!”
By the way, why did I choose the image I did for the lead photo? Stay tuned for a future post for some inside info and metrics on the social media response to my protest coverage.