“The masses are the real heroes, while we ourselves are often childish and ignorant, and without this understanding, it is impossible to acquire even the most rudimentary knowledge.” – Mao Zedong
March 11th and 12th were days of immense, sharp struggle in three important Midwest cities. The fascist around whom reactionary forces ranging from Ku Klux Klan leaders to Neo-Nazis on Stormfront to black “conservative” compradors such as Charles Evers and Ben Carson have united, Donald Trump, scheduled rallies in our cities. Saint Louis and Chicago were scheduled for the 11th, Kansas City was scheduled for the 12th. In response, the masses immediately began organizing to combat this reactionary, racist, sexist, Islamophobic, fascistic demagogue and financier parasite. These three cities are heavily populated by working class people, people of Islamic faith (Saint Louis is home to the largest Bosnian Muslim community in the world, outside of Bosnia), Latin@ people, LGBTQI* and Black people, all of whom have a history of struggle against people like Trump and the ideas/practices that he represents and seeks to implement in our communities. All who are enemies of Trump and the forces united around him. Trump should not have expected a warm welcome in any of our cities, especially Saint Louis. Progressive Students Organization – Saint Louis (PSOSTL) started a Facebook page titled “Trump Out of STL” to help organize and unite forces that wished to come out in opposition to Trump. There were also other organizing pages that sprang up, and conversations/plan-making that took place in schools and homes to combat this plague in various forms. The levels of support for anti-Trump action on this page and others ensured that there would be no warm welcome for this unwelcome movement and man. Comrades from Progressive Youth Organization and other groups in Kansas City also prepared an unwarm welcome, with PYOKC organizing a Facebook page which drew massive levels of engagement.
The morning of the 11th saw lines stretching almost a mile outside of the Peabody Opera House, where the event was scheduled to be held. Individuals from the crowd of Trump supporters waiting for admission were seen on the local news giving interviews regarding how they believe Trump will “bring back America” and how he says what is “on his mind”. They also dared to criticize the struggle waged in Ferguson and the Black Lives Matter movement, as if they had any right to speak on such issues at all from their position. There were also people selling various pins, hats, and other things, many of which contained various messages of hatred. Anti-Trump forces that had mobilized also arrived early in the morning, protesting outside or standing in line to conduct action inside. Members of PSOSTL and other groups who were in line for admission to the rally to disrupt heard firsthand all sorts of racist epithets, xenophobic comments, and all sorts of ignorant rhetoric from the crowd of actual supporters. There was struggle outside even before the rally began, as a comrade was righteously stepping on the American flag. Trumpites in line saw this, and immediately began demanding he pick up the flag, and berating him. This didn’t faze him in the slightest. Members of Latinos en Axión and progressive Islamic groups were out in force, along with seasoned veterans of Ferguson and regular people, out to declare their opposition to fascism in their city.
The rally began and doors were closed shortly before 12:30 PM. The PSO group, along with comrades from the local Socialist Party chapter, were turned away at the very front of the line, with the police saying that there was a capacity crowd and there was no standing room. To that end, we began chanting anti-fascist, anti-capitalist, and anti-racist slogans, proclaiming the right to rebel, and joined the masses who had assembled directly in front of the opera house. The speech was allowed to be heard outside through the sound system, which sharpened the struggle immensely. The pig, Trump, said his usual demagogic spiel, speaking about “building a wall”,”taking back America”, attacking other candidates, boasting about his imaginary successes, and generally showing how totally devoid of any actual substance or virtue he is. Outside, the masses loudly booed at almost every foolish “point” that he thought he was making, while cheering comrades who had disrupted inside and were being escorted out by the police. This enraged Trump supporters who were also outside, denied entry and intermingled with the masses outside. The excessive numbers of police who were also outside were obviously biased against anti-Trump protesters, which is keeping in their role as anti-people servants of capitalism and racism. We saw several members of oppressed nationalities, women, and progressive segments getting pushed, shoved, verbally abused, and physically attacked by the reactionaries, yet the police did nothing. We didn’t expect them to.
The struggle inside was escalating as well, and came to a head when comrades from the Artivists and Anti-Racist Collective conducted the major planned demonstration, dropping two banners reading “Caution: Racism Lives Here” and “Stop the Hate” from the balcony, while others below tore off their overshirts showing their real attire, which was covered with anti-Trump and anti-fascist slogans. They chanted the quote from black revolutionary Assata Shakur: “It is our duty to fight for our freedom, it is our duty to win. We must love and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.” These actions shut down the rally for ten minutes.
32 comrades were placed under arrest and abused roughly by the police for this action, pulled apart after they had linked arms and gone limp, and charged with general peace offenses, despite the real disturbers of the people’s peace, Trump and his supporters, being allowed to do whatever they so pleased. Only one Trump supporter was arrested for throwing a glass bottle, and wasn’t put in the same vehicle as the protesters. The white Trump supporter that we saw push a working class black woman was not arrested. The white Trump supporter that hit our comrade outside, bloodying his face, was not arrested. The Trump supporters who made all sorts of obscene gestures and shouted racist slurs at us as they left the auditorium were not arrested. This is par for the course, the police serve the class and the system that produced and elevated people like Donald Trump. As the Trump supporters left the auditorium, the masses berated them, chanting “Daddy’s Money”, “It is Right to Rebel”, and “Fuck Trump”, along with criticizing and denouncing with one voice individual Trump supporters who dared to approach. They all ran away, climbing into their SUVs and riding back to the suburbs from which they came.
Trump dragged himself to Chicago the night of the 11th, where he also met firm, organized, and resolute struggle from thousands of people. Organized anti-Trump forces took over the auditorium where he was scheduled to speak, leading to the rally being “indefinitely postponed” and leading to a celebratory atmosphere outside and inside. People hugged each other and began singing Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” in beautiful scenes that come only from the people daring to struggle and daring to win. On the 12th, the masses of Kansas City took and held the streets in the hundreds, approaching the thousands, to show that they also will not allow fascism to come and spread unchecked in their city. The repressive police of that city used giant cans of pepper spray (indiscriminately) and horses as weapons, spraying comrades en masse on several occasions. This did not dismay or detract from the determination of the masses of Kansas City to combat fascism and racism. They took and held the streets, tore down barricades, struggled with Trump supporters and reactionaries such as the Westboro Baptist Church.
The masses of Chicago, Kansas City, and Saint Louis showed that there is no free platform for fascism in our cities, that we are strong, we are powerful, that we struggle, and we are makers of history. When we unite all that can be united to combat and beat back our real enemies, those who would see us all in internment camps, deported, dead, or in prison, we can win. We can shut it down, and we will hold it down until we win. To do so, protesting Trump when he physically comes to town isn’t enough. The forces that have gathered around him remain after he is long gone, and go back to being judges, police, landlords, and bosses. To beat these, we must have mass organizations to unite workers, students, women, queers, residents and tenants, and we must use living revolutionary science and practice derived from the struggles of the past and incorporating lessons learned in the present to actively secure a better future, beat back and overthrow the system that produces Trumps. We call for revolutionary minded students and youth in Saint Louis to unite with Progressive Student Organization – Saint Louis and for the foundation of similar mass organizations all across the country to wage struggle and win!
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE MASSES OF SAINT LOUIS, CHICAGO, AND KANSAS CITY!
DOWN WITH FASCISM AND ISLAMOPHOBIA!
IT IS RIGHT TO REBEL!
SHUT IT DOWN!