News & Politics

3 protests that will give you hope in the face of RNC nativism

Lindsay Schubiner • Jul 21, 2016

As the Republican National Convention continues to feature blatant nativism and xenophobia, some activists are showing up, calling it out, and fighting hate.

So far this week, it hasn’t been pretty.

We’ve heard an advisor to the anti-Muslim hate group ACT for America blame this country’s problems on “radical Islamists.” We’ve seen the RNC feature a tweet from a white nationalist website inside the convention hall. We’ve heard speeches from family members of people who have been tragically killed by undocumented immigrants-activists with the cynical anti-immigrant Remembrance Project, which uses fear to paint immigrants as criminals. And that’s only scratching the surface.

Thankfully, this overt hate has generated some beautiful acts of resistance.

Wall Off Trump

Yesterday, a group of protestors literally walled off Trump from the rest of the world by blocking streets around the RNC while holding banners painted to resemble walls. This massive stand against Trump’s bigotry and hate by activists from around the country sent a clear message that racism won’t be tolerated.

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 4.11.07 PM

Source: @ConMijente

“We’re creating a line of defense against Trump’s hate and racism,” Eva Cardenas, one of the organizers of the protest, told Fusion.

The protest was organized by Mijente, Ruckus Society, Other98, Iraq Veterans Against the War, and many other organizations.


Don’t Trump Our Communities

In a feat of agility and intersectionality, four immigrant rights and anti-fracking activists scaled a flagpole to hang a banner that read, “Don’t Trump Our Communities.”

Emmelia Talarico, an activist from Maryland, told Grist that “communities directly impacted by oil and gas extraction have come together with immigrant communities being torn apart by deportations to take a stand against an unjust system that targets us all.”


Refugees Welome

Code Pink activists have organized an incredible series of protests against nativism and militarism at the RNC. Some activists dressed as Lady Liberty to welcome refugees, and one woman held a sign with the same message inside the RNC and was escorted out. One protester unfurled a banner inside the convention that read, “Yes we can end war,” while another argued for ending war so that people will not be forced to flee their homes.

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 3.28.05 PM

Source: C-SPAN, Jezebel

Code Pink co-founder Jodie Evans was accosted by RNC attendees who threw an American flag on her as she held a banner that read, “No racism, no hate.”

As Rebecca Solnit writes, “Hope locates itself in the premises that we don’t know what will happen and that in the spaciousness of uncertainty is room to act… when we wake up, we are no longer only the public: we are civil society, the superpower whose nonviolent means are sometimes, for a shining moment, more powerful than violence, more powerful than regimes and armies. We write history with our feet and with our presence and our collective voice and vision.”

Here’s to everyone who is showing up against hate and writing history with their feet.

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