Rise and Resist and GAG Team on Epic Mourning of Presidency Demo | Event Recap
In honor of President’s Day Weekend, Rise and Resist,a grassroots group of activists formed in response to the election of Donald Trump, and Gays Against Guns, an activist organization founded after the shooting at the Pulse Nightclub, mourned the death of the institution of the United States presidency with a New Orleans-style funeral procession.
Marchers gathered at the arch in Washington Square Park at noon onSaturday, February 18. After a brief rally, the funeral procession proceeded north along University Place. Pallbearers carried a coffin with the presidential seal and the inscription “The American Presidency: April 30, 1789 to January 20, 2017.” A traditional brass jazz band lead the march, which ended in Union Square. Bold and historically significant imagery included a set of original drawings of previous American presidents held upside down by mourners to indicate distress.
Continued from Above
“Donald Trump is not merely dangerous, he is a national disgrace,” said Jay W. Walker, a member of both Rise and Resist and Gays Against Guns and one of the event’s organizers. “Colluding with Russian spies, committing sexual assault, telling brazen lies to the American public, engendering fear and race hatred—Trump and those he surrounds himself with have demeaned the highest office in the land and, by extension, every American.”
Since his inauguration just one month ago, Trump’s cabinet and Supreme Court appointments have laid bare his plan to lay waste to the very government he was elected to nurture, and his inappropriate behavior have made plain his disdain for the office to which he was elected. “Xenophobic, homophobic, racist, misogynist—the list of of reasons why Trump is unfit to be president goes on and on,” said Christina Chapman, another event organizer. “We are here to tell Trump that we will not allow him to run roughshod over the American people, and we’re here to show the American people that by coming together, we can fight back against Trump’s hate-filled agenda—and win.”
Formed the week following Trump’s election, Rise and Resist is a diverse group of people committed to direct action to oppose, disrupt, and defeat any United States government action that threatens democracy and equality.
Founded in June 2016 after a mass shooting in an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando that left 49 people dead, GAG believes that gun violence is a public health issue that disproportionately affects people of color, religious minorities, and LGBTQ Americans. It has chapters in New York, Los Angeles, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Washington, DC. Each year, 33,000 people die in the United States from gun violence, with one-third due to homicide and two-thirds due to suicide.