Thursday, August 16, 2018

Chicago proud: The Resistance started here

Anti-Trump protest at UIC, March 2016. 

Omarosa's tell-all book makes reference to the March 2016 anti-Trump protest which shut down his campaign rally and sent DT scurrying out of town, not to return again. The protest “left a deep scar”, writes Omarosa Manigault Newman. 

According to the Sun-Times:
“There was a lot of blame to go around for the failure of the Chicago event,” she writes. “We blamed the protesters. We blamed law enforcement for not properly managing the situation. We blamed Chicago and its mayor, Obama acolyte Rahm Emanuel, for not supplying adequate security resources. We blamed everything and everyone, except for Donald Trump.”
“When I look back and try to pinpoint the moment when, in my own heart, I adopted an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ mind-set, it was that night in Chicago in March 2016. We all had a bunker mentality . . . I never stopped to ask myself what all this conflict meant for the future of the country. If I acknowledged my role in what was happening, I would have had to come to terms with nearly thirteen years of suppressed doubts and concerns about Donald Trump, and I was simply incapable of doing that at that point.”
Actually, the UIC rally was relatively peaceful (a few scuffles broke out inside the Arena as they always do at Trump rallies). Some 25,000 people gathered peacefully outside the Pavillion immediately following the reports that Trump had slipped into town. Seeing that the few hundred of his supporters would be badly outnumbered by the huge anti-Trump crowd, he called off the rally and split town, tail between his legs.

Writes Omarosa:
“The night of the Chicago rally left a deep scar on my consciousness, and I’d never even reached the city. From my place in the figurative bunker, I came out aggressively to support candidate Trump and believed the argument that the protesters were at fault.”
While the protest, organized by a few student groups, was a great success, it happened despite dire warnings of consequenses from a few frightened Democrats and some in the media.

The Tribune's Ron Grossman, exaggerated the level of violence and implored us to "halt the demonstrations", warning Trump would "profit" from "images of punching and cursing partisans" on the evening news. According to Grossman, "It doesn't matter whose cause is just and whose is not."

But it does indeed matter and there was no "profit" for Trump, writes Omarosa.
 In the aftermath of the botched rally, she says she was instructed to stick to the campaign strategy of “whataboutism” while making the rounds on cable news, pivoting from questions about provoking conflict to attacking Hillary Clinton over the FBI investigation into her emails.
“It was the only thing we had. At that point, we lacked a platform, plans, big ideas about foreign or domestic policy. All we had was Trump’s bluster, the MAGA slogan, and Hillary’s emails.”
Grossman went on to attack, not only the UIC protest, but protest movements in general, including Black Lives Matter and the anti-Vietnam War protests of the '60.

I think it's fair to say that today's Resistance movement against Trumpism was born that day in Chicago. City after city, followed suit right up through the inauguration, and Women's March and today, make it virtually impossible for Trump to travel anywhere outside of his red base areas.

The same hold true for his neo-fascist and white-supremacist supporters.

Let's keep marching people. It won't fall by itself.

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