Anti-Trump protesters rally in New York
A second consecutive day of protests against U.S. President Donald Trump’s month-old administration unfolded on Friday (February 17) in cities across the country, with activists urging Americans to skip work and school in a show of dissent.
Strike4Democracy, one of the groups organizing what it calls the #F17 General Strike, said more than 100 public protests were expected. About 16,000 people responded to a Facebook page for a march at New York’s Washington Square Park on Friday.
Protests also were planned in large and small cities across the country, including Chicago, New Orleans and Mason City, Iowa.
Strike4Democracy urged Americans to stay away from work if possible and take part in a community service. It suggested people refrain from making purchases and instead donate their lunch money to a worthy cause and contact congressional representatives about the strike.
The actual turnout in Manhattan, however, was only a few hundred people from disparate groups. Organizers described it as more of an informational gathering of disparate groups that had a uniting focus.
“There’s a strike taking place today. Many of the people here, including myself are on it today. It’s taking place in 100 different cities in 30 states today,” explained organizer Andrew Thornebrook. “But, the primary purpose of this rally is to create an organizational network by which people across the nation can coordinate mass strike movements with more frequency in the coming months.”
The Strike4Democracy website said the protest was aimed at halting “the authoritarian assault on our fundamental, constitutional rights” and the victimization of women, Muslims, immigrants and others.
“A number of people here come from a number of different movements, whether it be the pipeline (Dakota Access), or the ban, or the wall, or women’s reproductive rights, but all these people from different movements are understanding that the strike, especially mass strikes, are a very good means of pursuing those goals,” added Thornebrook.
The planned actions follow the Day Without Immigrants nationwide protest on Thursday against Trump’s immigration policies. Businesses shut their doors, students skipped class and thousands of demonstrators gathered to highlight the importance of immigrants to the U.S. economy.
Trump, who took office last month, has signed an executive order temporarily banning entry to the United States by travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries and all refugees. Federal appeals court judges have temporarily blocked the travel ban.
Since his Jan. 20 inauguration, Trump has faced a steady stream of protests and marches, highlighted by a series of mass rallies that drew hundreds of thousands of people on the day after he was sworn in.