By Felix Chrome
Nationally and locally January 20 seems to have the potential to be a wild, action filled day, with a wide variety of events planned. There have been calls for protests and demonstrations of various forms to take place across the country on inauguration day, many using the moniker #DisruptJ20. Olympia has a somewhat confusing tangle of events planned, however in our small town it’s likely these will merge into a general atmosphere of protest, with loosely affiliated groups participating in differing actions simultaneously.
There is a general strike called for the day, with many posters emblazoned with slogans such as “Nobody Works. Nothing Moves.” “Everything stops. No work. No School. No Cops. No Trump.” and “Sabotage the machinery of the state before fascists seize it” spotted on campus and around town.
At 9 a.m. on Jan. 20 there is a youth-led rally against Trump at the state capitol, near 416 Sid Snyder Ave SW. A coalition of Washington State students is leading this events and writes, “Come stand with us on inauguration day to protest hateful policies and offer support for affected minority groups.” The event is billed as a rally that will feature speakers, music, and “an opportunity to make a positive change in our community.”
At noon there is a protest and march planned, starting at the capitol. This appears to be the big event of the day, with multiple groups expressing differing plans beginning at the same time and place. You can expect there to be a march through downtown Olympia that contains multiple factions and a variety of tactics.
One groups dubbed “Re-Occupy,” a reference to the Occupy Wallstreet movement, expresses interest in occupying and blockading space on Jan. 20, with possible plans into the future. In one event page they write “Prepare for a long term Occupation!” Telling participants “Bring your tents, stories, drums, opinions, signs, emotions.”Others, also planning to meet at the capitol at noon, say only “BRING YOUR FRIENDS YOUR LOVE AND YOUR RAGE.” They also restated the national callout for action on January 20, originally posted on anarchist news site It’s Going Down, “#DisruptJ20 will be the start of the resistance. We must take to the streets and protest, blockade, disrupt, intervene, sit in, walk out, rise up, and make more noise and good trouble than the establishment can bear. The parade must be stopped. We must delegitimize Trump and all he represents. It’s time to defend ourselves, our loved ones, and the world that sustains us as if our lives depend on it—because they do.”
Besides events on the day of inauguration, Student-Worker Organizing Committee, an anti-capitalist student group, have also organized a walkout on January 19, the day before the inauguration as to not interfere with the general strike. Students will walk out of classes at 10:45, meeting on Red Square at 11, if you want to attend you are encouraged to bring signs or banners and be prepared to march. While this protest is clearly in response to the election of President Elect Trump, it intersect with many issues. As organizers write on the facebook event, “Walk out against Trump. Walk out against ICE or Border Patrol on campus. Walk out against capitalism. Walk out against Racism, Sexism, Cissexism, Gender oppression, cultural erasure, white supremacy, xenophobia, and all other forms of oppression on and off campus.”
On Jan. 21, there will also be a march in Olympia, coordinated with the National Women’s March in D.C. For this event people will be gathering at 10 a.m. at the capitol building, where there will be a rally with speakers, then a planned march to heritage park and back. It appears likely this march will be very large, but relatively calm, with a pre-approved and permitted march route and an emphasis non-violence. The national event that this march is part of states their mission is to “send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights.” They continue, saying that this march goes beyond just women’s issues, “We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.”
There are sure to be more protests, marches, and demonstrations to come in the weeks and months ahead. Along with these independent political actions, Evergreen is hosting a workshop and lecture series concerning the election, inauguration, and presidency of Donald Trump.