LOS ANGELES - With flags, sign-plastered cars, and a clear message, dozens gathered in downtown Los Angeles for a socially-distanced caravan, demanding immediate action at the White House.
"We don’t want to just sit and wait until the inauguration, we want them driven out from power now," said Michelle Xai, an LA-based organizer with Refuse Fascism. "We’re trying to reach all these people who are watching this happening, that are sickened, that want to know what’s happening, that want to understand what’s happening, and that want to act."
Protesters gathered at Pershing Square to kick off the demonstration, which began with the reading of the following statement from the Refuse Fascism Editorial Board:
"It matters that we are out here today – each of you and all of us together. Last Wednesday, the world witnessed with shock: MAGA mobs storming the U.S. Capitol, climbing the walls, smashing windows, rampaging through the halls and looting Congressional offices—called forth and unleashed by Donald Trump, who could be called the wannabe second president of the Confederacy. Even AFTER this violent siege, 8 GOP senators and 139 representatives (that’s 2/3 of the Republifascists in the House of Representatives) still voted to overturn the election. A new poll yesterday showed that 77% of Republicans still support Trump.
This was an attempted fascist coup and it was years in the making. That is the word: Fascism. What is that? It’s vigilantes shooting Black Lives Matter protesters. It’s open white supremacy. It’s refugees in concentration camps. It’s paramilitary forces using violence to suppress dissent. It is lie upon lie such that the very concept of what is real and what is true is destroyed. It is outright theocrats dominating the courts. It is the brazen open attempt to overturn the election of Biden – it is shredding even the pretense of democracy.
Now, Trump MUST GO! The fascists are still rampaging at Statehouses around the country. They are bragging about their accomplishments, threatening further mayhem, and are already making their assault on January 6 a rallying cry to come back. Trump, for his part, is upholding his "stormtroopers" and is reportedly even more bellicose and unhinged. Every day Trump remains in power he poses a catastrophic danger to humanity. What is more, he must be decisively repudiated – impeached and convicted – which would mean he could never come back to elected office. Even more important, this would be a real setback to the fascist movement he still leads. This movement is not going away even with Trump removed. There are tens of millions of people, who have been led, organized and shaped in a fascist direction, with their own media and schools and institutions, for over 40 years, to view themselves as the "real America."
There are elected officials at all levels of government who view and will act as if the Biden administration is illegitimate and they now have an armed street-fighting force "on-call" filled with revenge. Inside and outside the halls of power they will continue to fight for their white supremacist, xenophobic, and patriarchal program. And, they will continue to undermine the very concept of truth – leaving tens of millions to be susceptible to the calls of demagogues and the vilest conspiracy theories. IF THE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE WHO DESIRE A JUST WORLD, WHO CARE ABOUT HUMANITY, FAIL TO ACT, IT WILL NOT APPEASE THESE FASCISTS; IT WILL LEAVE THEM A CLEAR FIELD TO ADVANCE. WE SAW ON WEDNESDAY WHERE THIS LEADS.NOW is the moment – as calls ricochet through Congress to impeach Trump – for us to put our bodies in the streets, non-violent but determined, to demand Trump’s immediate removal. Now.
Already there is talk, including by some Democrats, that impeachment would only further divide the country, that it is time to move forward and get to the work of "healing" the country and governing. But the road to Wednesday’s fascist coup attempt was paved by this very refusal to hold Trump and his fascists accountable …again and again over four years. Not after Charlottesville. Not after children locked in cages. Not after Trump’s acquittal in a weakly pursued impeachment on very narrow grounds which only cemented Trump’s belief that he was above the law. This passivity and accommodation must end now. To wait longer, to hold back, amounts to capitulation. Now must be the time for the decent people to stand up—nonviolently in massive numbers, from many different backgrounds and political perspectives but united in our determination to act. We demand Trump’s immediate removal to stop the tremendous harm he can do in the next 11 days. We demand this now as part of building the strength of our side for the fight to decisively defeat this fascism that has been allowed to fester and spew forth. Note well: A failed coup, can lead to a successful coup or a "legitimate" return to power fueled by the same fascist program but with a vengeance.
The struggle for the future is far from over. Humanity needs us, needs you, to be in the streets, using safe disease prevention protocol but most of all demonstrating our values of respect for diversity and hunger for justice – in stark contrast to the hate and bigotry of vicious American fascism. We must continue to speak and act and call forth others. Our just and necessary demand that Trump be removed from power now must be met, not just for ourselves, but for humanity. Trump Out Now! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!"
Similar events also took place in New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, and Seattle. There was a brief confrontation between demonstrators and pro-Donald Trump supporters in Los Angeles, but it ended peacefully.