There have been protests against President Donald Trump since the day he was inaugurated, but the protests on February 20 tried to take on a greater message because they began on Presidents Day. It’s a federal holiday when Americans mark George Washington and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays. Today though, many will mark the day by protesting the policies of the current president with “Not My President’s Day” rallies.
Protests are planned from New York to Los Angeles, and in major cities in between. The organizers planned to start the rallies as early as 11 a.m. ET. They are asking people to use the hashtags #doyourjob and #notmypresident. For videos of the protests, click here.
Here’s what you need to know about the protests.
1. Protesters Are Taking a Stand Against All of Trump’s Policies, Not Just a Particular Issue
Many of the protest organizers make it clear that they have not picked just one issue to fight, but are taking a stand against all of Trump’s policies.
“We don’t want to pick an issue,” Laura Hartman, who helped organize a Chicago protest and attended the Women’s March in Washington, told USA Today. “By embracing a broad umbrella, we can show this administration that the numbers against it are broad.”
Indeed, the organizers for the Los Angeles rally at City Hall wrote that they are protesting a long list of anti-California policies Trump has enacted or plans to sign.
“Donald Trump stands against the progress we have worked hard to enact. He does not represent our interests,” the Los Angeles organizers wrote. “He was voted in by a minority of the American public but governs as if there’s no resistance. But there is — and on February 20th, we will honor previous presidents by exercising our constitutional right to assemble and peacefully protest everything Donald Trump stands for.”
“There is a congressional recess on February 20th that aligns with Presidents Day. Let’s rally while our federal representatives are back in California and remind them who they represent,” the Los Angeles organizers note.
2. 14,000 New Yorkers Said on Facebook That They Planned to Attend a Columbus Circle Rally
The Not My Rally President’s Day in New York City begins at noon today at Columbus Circle. Over 14,0000 Facebook users from New York say they will attend, with 47,000 interested in the event.
The main Not My President’s Day page has over 2,000 likes. They first planned the Los Angeles event, and local organizers took over the Chicago and New York City protest planning.
Organizers in Washington DC, Atlanta, Austin, San Diego, Denver, Nashville and elsewhere also planned their own rallies.
Here is the full list of cities participating in Not My President’s Day:
New York City
Salt Lake City
Rapid City, South Dakota
Greensboro, North Carolina
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Kansas City, Missouri
Concord, New Hampshire
Grand Rapids, Michigan
New Paltz, New York
3. The Chicago Organizers Plan on Reading the Coretta Scott King Letter Elizabeth Warren Was Blocked from Reading
Earlier this month, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren was blocked from reading a 1986 letter Coretta Scott King, the late widow of Martin Luther King Jr., wrote in opposition of Jess Sessions. Warren tried to read it during Senate debate over Sessions’ nomination as Attorney General. Although she could not read it, male Democratic Senators read the letter in full the following day.
According to NBC News, the Chicago protest organizers plan on reading that letter during their rally. They expect 3,000 people to attend, and they have booked speakers from the ACLU, the American Federation of Government Employees, Sousaphones Against Hate and other groups.
“We want to fight the entirety of the administration,” Laura Hartman, Chicago rally coordinator, told NBC News.
“This work is exhausting,” Sarsour told NBC News. “And in order for us to maintain the momentum we must step in for one another. I am trying to practice what I preach, but under this administration it’s proving difficult to take care of our physical and emotional well being.”
4. Boston’s Rally Over the Weekend Featured Scientists Against Trump
While there aren’t any formal “Not My President’s Day” protest planned in Boston, there was a major protest there on Sunday. As The Associated Press reports, the “Rally to Stand Up For Science” was held in Copley Square, outside the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting. Scientists dressed in lab coats and held up signs protesting Trump’s “anti-science rhetoric.”
“We’re really trying to send a message today to Mr. Trump that America runs on science, science is the backbone of our prosperity and progress,” Geoffrey Supran, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told the AP.
The scientists were particularly concerned with Scott Pruitt leading the Environmental Protection Agency, even though he has been skeptical about global warming and a critic of the very organization he now leads.
As the Boston Globe reported, scientists, professors, engineers and students held up signs that read “Follow The Evidence,” “Science Matters” and “Climate Change is Real.” One scientist brought his 9-year-old daughter, who carried a sign that read “Earth – Science = Death.”
The Not My President’s Day organizers did try to get a permit for a rally in Boston Common, but were unable to do so.
On Saturday, thoughts marched in Los Angeles for another anti-Trump protest, focusing on his immigration policies. The Los Angeles Times reported that activists there hoped that a new fund to provide legal assistance to immigrants would not leave out those with criminal convictions. The Times previously reported that Los Angeles city and council leaders proposed a $10 million fund for legal assistance to residents who could be deported.
“We want the city and the county to not just declare Los Angeles a sanctuary city — which they have not — but to take these strong, concrete policies,” David Abud, of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, told the LA Times.
5. There Were Some Pro-Trump Rallies Planned on Presidents Day Weekend, Too
There have been some examples of pro-Trump protests around the country. As WSBTV in Atlanta reports, there was a pro-Trump rally on Saturday in Centennial Olympic Park. The III% Security Force openly carried weapons and defended their Second Amendment rights.
“We want to make sure the people who come out here prior to Presidents Day can show their support for President Trump without being assaulted by any counter-protesters,” Chris Hill, a member of the group, told WSBTV. Before their rally, Hill told the station that he expected 20 to 30 people to show up.
“I think that that’s a dangerous road to go down,” Hill also told CBS46. “After 25 days, there’s been no impeachable offense. What I’m hearing is a bunch of rhetoric from the snowflakes in Congress.”
WIS-TV reports that a group in Lexington County, South Carolina called Rally4Trump has planned their rally for 4:30 p.m. ET. Their event has 22 people checked in on Facebook.
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