After perhaps the most controversial election in U.S. history, businessman Donald John Trump has officially been sworn into office as the 45th president of the United States. In his inaugural address, Trump declared that no man or woman shall any longer be forgotten, and the power has returned to the people at last.
Trump said, “January 20, 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.” However, Trump’s inauguration has been met with much backlash from the American people. Recently, people have been converging all over the country to object to Donald Trump becoming the president, even on SC4’s very own campus.
In Port Huron, an activist group, the Michigan People’s Defense Network, organized a gathering on Inauguration Day, Friday, Jan. 20. Those wishing to express disapproval for Trump were asked to assemble at the corners of Erie and McMorran, although the group claims the reasons behind the protest are not strictly about Trump.
The Michigan People’s Defense Network stated that they are a part of the Workers World Party, a socialist organization founded in the late 1950s to fight racism and fascism and intended to stand up for the rights of all people worldwide, especially those under racist or fascist attack. The intention of the protest was not to just speak out about Trump’s presidency itself, but the types of ideas that following Trump encourages.
The group claims that while Trump is unfit to be President, it is the types of people he rallies underneath him and the beliefs those people hold that are more worrisome.
The Michigan People’s Defense Network argues that the ideas Trump holds have emboldened fascist and racist ideas, and because of this Trump has garnered legitimate Nazi and KKK support. The group said it is important to unite in opposition to such ideologies and that such hateful behavior will not be tolerated.
When asked why they decided to organize a protest in Port Huron, the group replied that Port Huron voted overwhelmingly in favor of Trump, and so it is important to combat and stand against the racist and fascist types who support Trump. Michigan is leading in hate crime as it is, and so they feel Michigan is one of the places that needs to hear their criticism the most.
Local political activist Alexander Smedley attended the protest. Smedley said that Trump was a byproduct of capitalism and the embodiment of fascism in the United States.
Another protester and SC4 student, Chelsey Kielbas, said that protests are one of the only ways for a citizen to get his or her voice out. Making a statement was both protesters’ main reason for attending. Smedley ended by saying, “Fascism is the absolute enemy of all working people.”
The Michigan People’s Defense Network values the solidarity and equality of all people, but they feel uniting alone is not enough.
With enough organization and effort, the group hopes to completely eradicate sexism, fascism and racism together with anti-migrant, anti-Semitic and anti-Islamic attacks.
A member of the Michigan People’s Defense Network calling himself Mond helped organize the event and is also a student at SC4. Mond said, “Capitalism is at a dead end; a revolutionary resistance is necessary. We stand for the liberation of oppressed people worldwide.”