Detroiters protest human rights violations, marking one-year anniversary of Trump’s inauguration

Protester holds anti-white supremacy poster at rally in downtown Detroit. //Mayssa Masri, mayssamasri.com

On the one-year anniversary of Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20, protesters demonstrated in Campus Martius Park to defend the rights of the working class, immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQ people and People of Color who are targeted by Trump’s policies.

“I’m here to join people all over the country and the world who are saying no one year after the inauguration. We’re saying no to Trump and his fascist, racist, misogynistic and bigoted agendas,” says Martha Grevatt, Detroit activist and representative from Moratorium Now! Coalition, a grassroots organization at the forefront to stop foreclosures, evictions and utility shutoffs in Detroit.

“We’ve seen an escalation in bigotry, racism, and sexism,” says Abayomi Azikiwe, a Detroit organizer for the Workers World Party and Editor for the Pan-African News Wire. “Fortunately, women are coming out and saying ‘hey, me too. Time is up.’ People are no longer tolerating hate.”

Azikiwe says vulnerable, oppressed and marginalized people are being attacked under Trump’s capitalist system and citizens of all backgrounds need to stand up against bigotry and intolerance.

“We are also saying no to the the capitalist system, where there is more and more wealth being transferred to the rich from the pockets of the working class people,” says Grevatt, who describes unions as facing relentless attacks by the administration.

Despite the high number of working class citizens who support Trump, Grevatt explains that the working class is being targeted by Trump’s tax plan the most, including the administration’s massive cuts to social programs like Medicaid, food stamps and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

She says Americans cannot stay silent about the wealth gap. “Agencies people depend upon are being cut while the taxes we pay are being diverted to the wealthy.”

“We need to organize and we need to mobilize, we need to stay in the streets to fight the Trump program of racism and sexism and fascism,” says Azikiwe, who is also an author who has written on the world socialist movement.

Azikiwe says activism does not just begin and end at the voting booth.

“Voting every 2 years, every four years is not enough. We have to talk to our coworkers, our neighbors, our family members, our friends, to get involved in the struggle to reverse the Trump program,” he says.

Demonstrators also chanted and held signs that read “Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine” and “Palestine will be free,” calling for solidarity with the Palestinian people and denouncing Trump’s decision to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

“We’re here to build a movement,” says Grevatt.

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