Tomorrow (Friday, January 20), if all goes as some have planned, the alarmingly unqualified and astonishingly unacceptable Donald Trump will officially become the next president of the United States. Few such ceremonial inaugurations and actual peaceful transfers of power could be more disgusting and disturbing. But I’ve grown too ill from such matters to wish to discuss them further at any length at this particular time.
I will just comment, however, on what everyone knows already: That a vast number of entertainment artists have turned down invitations and requests to perform at the farcical “gala,” a celebration that makes a mockery of every American value and decent human character. Those entertainers who have agreed to perform should be dis-invited to perform at any and all future public events. As far as I am concerned, they are collaborators with a fascist who openly plans to rule as a dictator of hate and corruption unparalleled in US history.
Much more significant than the refusal by entertainers, an ever-increasing number of US congresspersons have publicly stated their refusal to dignify and “normalize” the invalid administration of Trump by attendance at the sick circus mockery of our democratic heritage and constitutionally-founded system of democratic governance.
I would like to call attention to some other events going on elsewhere at the same time as the Fascist walk-in and danceball-party-of-deplorables to take place tomorrow in the nation’s capitol. At the same site, of course, the Million Woman March will be taking place in protest of the shambone fascist farce, and solidarity protest marches also will take place all over the nation. One such solidarity women’s march (all friendly non-women are also warmly invited to join in!) will take place in the nearest city to my abode.
I lend all the local and national marchers my total support, but shall not make an appearance myself. I decided many years ago never again to purposely place my body on the front lines, or even near vicinity, of racist violent, armed cops, unless it’s to directly intervene if one or more persons are being directly threatened or attacked. Of course we are all being threatened and attacked in many at least less direct ways, but you know what I mean. Please be careful if you are going out there. May you be safe and protected.
The cops in this city are notorious racist thugs and open supporters of Trump. I see no need to run the risk of being beaten or killed to take part in a demonstration march to protest the inauguration of their new national supreme policeman dictator. We are going to need to stay as able-bodied and healthy as possible in the days ahead to offer much more effective resistance to the now-arrived Trump police state than simple protest marching achieves.
In today’s surveillance state, you can be certain that every protest-organizing group has already been deeply infiltrated by local and federal police agents-provocateur and that the troopers showing up with guns and other weapons to stand opposite the protest marchers will all be twitching with gleeful anticipation, looking for any and every opening for a “plausibly excusable” chance to crack heads and shoot into the backs of any fleeing protestors and innocent bystanders.
I’ve been shot at enough by police troopers and national guardsmen when fleeing the scene as a concerned bystander when police riots against unarmed peaceful protest marchers have taken place. One minute there is a tense standoff and the next second citizens are being shot and beaten down by police and military troopers. Few protest marches are the least bit effective, any way, in my humble opinion. Trump seems determined to prove this by overturning every gain achieved in the past 50 years or more while insulting and mocking surviving heroes of the Civil Rights movement.
Having heard and/or read in the past two or three days what Trump says by way of attacking heroic national leaders like Senator John Lewis who almost gave his life for civil rights when the cops broke his head open in Selma, there is no doubt how the new Trump police state will treat protestors. I fully support—from a physically safe remove—all the women and their allies who will be marching in protest tomorrow, here, in DC, and across the land. And I fully support all the others who will be engaging in some sort of public or private demonstrations of resistance.
I pray everyone may be safe and return home unharmed and greatly edified by their action and its hoped for results. But I am simply no longer willing, personally, to take such risks unnecessarily. My strategy is to live another day in greatest health and safety to continue fighting another day til the end of my days. I think there are more effective means of resisting and overcoming the likes of Trump and his police state than shouting and carrying signs, necessary as it may be for some to engage in some such activities at times.
Like me, perhaps you also are refusing to “show up” for the inauguration of the Trump Reich, but also don’t wish to be out in the street tempting the cops to riot against you. And perhaps also you do not necessarily wish to spend quite the entire day at home immersed in silent meditation, petitionary prayer, protection-invoking ritual ceremonies, or in mourning, etc.
If so, there are plenty of (other) ways to demonstrate and enjoy freedom from Trumpism on the last day on which that may be quite as possible for perhaps the next four years (!). Yes, there are plenty of ways to honour and celebrate and savor the freedom of the arts, the environment, the women of our family, and solidarity with our local and national beloved community.
For one thing, you can go to the movies. If you live in any of the areas listed below you can attend a film festival. You will not be alone in showing your own refusal to accept the Trump swearing-in and Gala of Creepiness-and-Eminent-violent-repression by attending a community celebration of artistic creative expression and sharing.
Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour US Jan 20-21 Bozeman, MT
Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour US Jan 19-21 Sandpoint, ID
Irvine International Film Festival Jan 13-21 Irvine, CA
Kansas City Jewish Film Festival Jan 8-22 Leawood, KS
Las Vegas Jewish Film Festival Jan 19-22 Las Vegas, NV
Miami Jewish Film Festival Jan 12-26 Miami, FL
New York Jewish Film Festival Jan 11-24 NYC, NY
NOIR CITY: The San Francisco Film Noir Festival Jan 20-29 San Francisco, CA
Sundance Film Festival Jan 19-29 Park City, UT
Telluride Mountainfilm on Tour Jan 19-21 Homer, AK
Telluride Mountainfilm on Tour Jan 19-21 Savannah, GA
Tucson Jewish Film Festival Jan 12-22 Tucson, AZ
Virginia Festival of Jewish Film Jan 14-22 Norfolk, VA
Weinstein JCC Israeli Film Festival Jan 19-23 Richmond, VA
Youth Making Ripples Film Competition Jan 20 Sarasota, FL
There are plenty of other group events and activities you may wish to attend or take part in. In the (San Francisco) Bay Area, for instance there is this Bridge event (detailed below). There may be many events taking place in your own area. And remember, it’s just one day. Every day going forward will need to be a day of resistance (and shared loving celebration of our freedoms) until the threat that is Trump and Trumpism goes away. A big part of the resistance will need to be our individual and collective celebration of being alive and sharing with others in being a living loving community of freedom enjoyers and sharers and protectors.
On January 20, 2017 (Inauguration Day), from 10AM – 12PM, we are hoping to form the first human chain across the entire Golden Gate Bridge (and beyond), as a collaborative, grassroots, community-based demonstration and performance art piece. We will celebrate unity and love in the face of divisiveness and hate. Our goal is to be a shining beacon of inclusiveness and democracy to prove that we are stronger together, and that love truly trumps hate. We will stand together, hand-in-hand and holding lengths of purple fabric as a sign of unity and anti-bullying. Therefore, we are asking each participant to bring a yard of purple fabric, ribbon, or scarf.
Let us be clear: WE ARE NOT A PROTEST. WE ARE NOT A MARCH.
Because of the permitting we’ve received, we need an approximate count of how many participants to expect. 3,000 participants will be allowed on the bridge itself, all others will be surrounding the bridge and along the Golden Gate. Dogs are not allowed on the bridge. Those on the Golden Gate Bridge will have the hardest job because they will need to get there early (by 8:30 AM) and stand in what could be cold and wet conditions until all have gathered (we anticipate noon). The first 3,000 participants who are willing to take on Bridge responsibilities, and register as “Bridgers” will receive wristbands in advance of the event. This will help the Bridge Authorities and volunteers ensure safety of all participants. Please understand that the Golden Gate Bridge is a National Park and Monument, and we must work collaboratively and respectfully with local authorities who protect it and us.
Those who do not wish to be on the bridge itself should register as “Beyond the Bridgers.” These people will stand along the North and South sides of the bridge (Specific locations will be mapped out soon, but we definitely recommend Hawk Hill for an incredible view of our spectacle!)
Additionally, we are looking for 200 total Volunteers. EMT & first responder volunteers encouraged! If you would like to volunteer for this event, please indicate so on your registration.
If you would like to donate to this cause (not required for participation), please click the Donate button on our website. All donations will go toward additional porta-potties, EMTs and Ambulances on standby, and communications for volunteers. All other administrative and coordinating services and expenses are being donated by the organizers. 100% of remaining funds post-event will be divided equally and shared with the following organizations: The Trevor Project, Planned Parenthood, and The Southern Poverty Law Center.