Archive for the Protests Category
CULTURE & POLITICS, Protests, Women with tags protest, rally, Washington Square Park, Women's Strike on March 8, 2017 by travsd
CULTURE & POLITICS, My Family History, Protests with tags Civil Rights, Edmund Pettus Bridge, march, Selma on March 7, 2017 by travsd
Today is the anniversary of the attack by police thugs on protesters at the first march in Selma, Alabama in 1965.
The town of Selma was founded by my 6th great uncle. I am related by marriage to the man this bridge was named after, Edmund Pettus,a Confederate General and Grand Dragon in the KKK. Whereas I once suspected I had relatives among the red-faced, crew cutted monsters who beat and sicced dogs on peaceful men, women and children that day: now I know that I do. It feels exactly like those metaphysical chains Jacob Marley is forced to carry around in the afterlife. I’ve spent the last several months (among other things) ruminating about ways to start making work that chips away at this moral debt, in a way that makes sense for me. I’ll be emerging from hibernation over the next several months, with projects that I hope will do more to make the world a better place. Like so many of my heroes (Voltaire, Charlie Chaplin), I hope to remain entertaining while I do it. But I’ve definitely lost all patience for people who just want to be left alone with their diversions and distractions when the world remains so out of wack. If it bores ya:
CULTURE & POLITICS, HOLIDAYS/ FESTIVALS/ MEMORIALS/ PARADES, Presidents Day, Protests with tags Central Park West, Not My President, protest, rally, Trump Tower on February 20, 2017 by travsd
There’s only one way to spend Presidents Day in the age of Drumpf — that’s by rejecting the present office holder utterly and vociferously, and refusing to include him in any honors extended to his august precedessors. Accordingly, tens of thousands of protesters gathered on Central Park West and Columbus Circle to make their point outside Trump Tower. Your correspondent was among them.
I wore the swell shirt you see above, created by my old friend Matt Cohen. Now I know for certain that I am one of the 65,844,954 who voted for HRC. I am less certain that I one of the actual ones represented in the difference between her total number of popular votes and Trump’s puny, pathetic lesser total. Still, this handsome article was the appropriate shirt for today’s outing, and if you want one of your own you can get it here.
CULTURE & POLITICS, Protests with tags protest, rally, Solidarity Rally, Times Square, Today I a Muslim Too on February 19, 2017 by travsd
Today was the “Day of Remembrance”, the 75th anniversary of the day FDR signed an executive order that resulted in the internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans during WWII. I’m thinking it was no coincidence that this day was selected for the solidarity rally in NYC called “Today I Am a Muslim Too”. Trump’s Muslim ban and the greater anti-Muslim hysteria by him and his followers is a completely parallel phenomenon: an entire American minority group being punished, unconstitutionally and prejudiciously, for…nothing really. For being who they are rather than anything they, as individuals, did.
The location of the event seemed significant, too, to me, anyway. For it was held in Times Square, the site of a failed bombing attempt in 2010 by a Pakistani-American named Faisal Shahzad. It’s a point of pride with us New Yorkers to remain true to our mission as the Gateway to America, in spite of all the tests. We are the ones on the front lines (domestically, anyway) in the War on Terror. We are the ones who have been hit, repeatedly and hard (and sometimes ineptly) by actual terrorist attacks. Yet it’s y’all out in East Bumfuck who are the ones who are losing your shit, giving into fear, relinquishing everything America stands for in the name of “security”. Ain’t no Muslims coming to blow up your gas station, Gomer! Although you might want to keep a real good eye on your meth-head cousin in the cargo pants who’s heading for the mall right now. Here in New York we have the Statue of Liberty to keep us honest, and no one’s going to make us out a liar. All are welcome here. One Pakistani guy tried to bomb Times Square. So what? I’ve probably crossed paths with 1,000 other Pakistanis in my time here. And you know what? They DIDN’T! Not punishing people and depriving them of their rights based on who they are is America 101!
Around 10,000 people came out to the event today, which was organized by Russell Simmons, Imam Shamsi Ali, Rabbi Marc Schneier, Daisy Khan, Linda Sarsour, and others. It was launched by a performance of the National Anthem, and followed by multi-denominational prayers (Christian and Jewish in addition to Muslim), and — as this was a religious solidarity event — I saw lots and lots of church groups. Children and old people. Veterans. Know what I mean? SEE THE PHOTOS BELOW. So when the orange schmuck in the White House and all his Cro-Magnon followers go on about how an event like this “unpatriotic” and it’s a bunch of violent jihadis who want to destroy America, don’t listen to them. Better yet, respond in New York-ese: tell them go to fuck themselves.
My friend Gabriele Schafer was also there. Her pix better capture the scale of it, I think:
Onward! Tomorrow is Not My Presidents Day and another huge protest planned outside Trump Tower.
CULTURE & POLITICS, Protests with tags General Strike, protest, rally, Washington Square Park on February 17, 2017 by travsd
Theoretically today was a day of a general strike, which normally means a day when no one works or buys anything or conducts any business, but looking around the busy city I got the feeling there was precious little inactivity. But there was a rally at Washington Square Park with a couple thousand people. Wearing my critic’s hat, the event felt like a bit of a missed opportunity, particularly in the wake of the President’s deranged press conference yesterday and the thousand scandals bouncing around out there. The main problem was the lack of a decent P.A. Some guys spoke into a weak bullhorn but no one could hear them and they gave up…which translated into a lack of an organized, focused program. It was less galvanizing than such events can often be. When some people started chanting “This is what Democracy looks like!” I found myself saying, “You got THAT right!”
But it wasn’t a waste of time, by any means — people rallied and chanted and talked and bonded. Appropriately we gathered near the statue of the great Italian freedom fighter Giuseppe Garbaldi:
Across the street from the park I came across this bus. At first I thought there’d be trouble from pro-Trump people…but it turned out to be some kind of satirical art project, which the details below made clear:
CULTURE & POLITICS, Protests with tags protest, This Is What Democracy Sounds Like, Trump, Washington Square Park on February 5, 2017 by travsd
In addition to its long history as a traditional gathering spot for protest, New York’s Washington Square Park has an association with (often movement related) folk music just as long. Today’s “This Is What Democracy Sounds Like” gathering (a community singalong for freedom) looked to be just the sort of thing I would really love, but I’m still nursin’ my footsore feets. Luckily friends Noah Diamond and Amanda Sisk of Nero Fiddled and a certain Marx project (but not that one) were able to attend and were generous enough to share their photo impressions for those who don’t follow them on social media. Thanks, guys!
CULTURE & POLITICS, Drag and/or LGBT, Protests with tags John Leavitt, LGBT Solidarity Rally, Stonewall on February 4, 2017 by travsd
I wish I could claim I hurt my foot strictly by going to anti-Trump protest marches, but, nah, I walk several miles every day and ignored the mounting discomfort, and now am strictly resting it for a couple of days in hopes it’ll clear up. That’s my “doctor’s note” for sitting out today’s LGBT Solidarity Rally at Stonewall National Monument this afternoon. BUT, luckily, cartoonist/illustrator/all-around funny guy John Leavitt agreed to take these beautiful shots for us, and so we we show our solidarity by posting them here. Thanks, John!
He started out at Julius, a bar, restaurant and historical center of gay culture: