Hundreds march to resist Trump presidency

Protestors march down Nicollet Avenue at a rally against President Donald Trump. Photo by Nate Gotlieb

Hundreds of protestors marched from Lake & Nicollet to City Hall on Jan. 20, chanting slogans against deportation and encouraging resistance as Donald Trump was sworn-in as the 45th president of the United States in Washington, D.C.

The protest was organized by the Resist from Day One Coalition, which lists more than 50 member groups on its website, including unions, faith group and social justice organizations.

Protesters gathered at Lake & Nicollet starting at about 2 p.m. and began their march to City Hall. Others joined the main protest group along the way, including University of Minnesota students marching from campus and a group protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline who started their Black Snake Resistance March at Franklin & Chicago.

Minneapolis resident Doug Kelly held a sign that read “No Intel? No tax returns? No ethics! No president!” Kelly said Trump needs to be told that he didn’t “win the election” and that the Electoral College “voted him in. Not the voters.”

“I don’t find him very genuine,” Kelly said. “I believe Donald does whatever he thinks is going to be best for Donald. The fact that he’s not interested in (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s influence on the election, to be in that type of denial is just totally undemocratic. That’s a disqualifier right there.”

Protest attendees Emma Singer and Deon Haider said the issues of climate and immigration concern them the most under a Trump presidency.

“Now is when we need to be making changes for the future,” Haider said, “and the longer we delay cutting our carbon emissions, the more trouble we’re going to have in the future.”

Singer said she attended the protest to be around people who were also just as “upset and scared” about a Trump presidency.

“There’s not anything I can do to change it now,” she said. “You just kind of fight individual policies and hope that you can build enough community.”

Marchers MJ Spotts and Cathy Mosher, who both live in Minneapolis, described Trump as an illegitimate and potentially dangerous president.

“He’s a bully, and bullies need to be stood up to,” Mosher said.

Bashir Yussuf and Abdul Mohamed marched side-by-side as the protest group passed the Minneapolis Convention Center on its way to City Hall. Both were born in Somalia and now live in Minneapolis.

Yussuf and Mohamed said they felt Trump was assembling an administration that was anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim.

“Today in his (inaugural) speech, he mentioned ‘radical Islam,’” Mohamed said. “I’m a Muslim and I’m not a radical.”

The day before the inauguration, Mayor Betsy Hodges directed top staffers to “prepare an assessment of the legal and financial implications” of a Trump presidency for Minneapolis. The letter, describing an “urgent and uncertain context” to their work, was shared with reporters.

“Donald J. Trump has made a number of promises that if implemented, would have a significant impact on the city of Minneapolis and its residents,” Hodges wrote, addressing her comments to the city coordinator, city attorney, chief financial officer and director of intergovernmental relations.

While campaigning, Trump pledged to pull federal funding from so-called “sanctuary cities” — those, like Minneapolis, that place limits on how local authorities cooperate with federal immigration agents.

Teachers across Minneapolis on Thursday held “walk ins” to protest Trump’s pick for education secretary, billionaire school-choice advocate Betsy DeVos. The Republican donor said in her confirmation hearing that she would advocate for charter schools and school choice, but Democrats have expressed concerns that she will gut public education.

The day after the Inauguration Day march through Minneapolis, the Women’s March drew a vastly larger crowd to St. Paul. An estimated 90,000–100,000 people protested in support of women’s rights and against discrimination.