By Guest Nicole
A lawyer for Pharrell WilliamsÂ sent a cease-and-desist letter to U.S. PresidentÂ Donald TrumpÂ on Monday after he played the artistsÂ’ songÂ HappyÂ at a political rally on the same day as theÂ mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.
The rally in Indiana was held just hours after the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue, where 11 people lost their lives.
Así nos trataron: los chicos separados de sus padres en la frontera relatan sus días detenidos en Estados UnidosBy Guest Nicole
Muchos de los menores describieron las condiciones en las instalaciones de la Aduana y Protección de Fronteras de EE.UU. donde fueron llevados y procesados durante los primeros días después de cruzar la frontera. En los informes solo fueron identificados por sus nombres de pila.
Timofei, de 15 años, proveniente de Rusia, quien buscó asilo en la frontera con sus padres por sus creencias como Testigos de Jehová, dijo que estaban noche y día hacinados en la sala cerrada y abarrotada, detenidos junto a otros muchachos. Dijo que solo había una ventana que daba a un pasillo vacío y que no tenían jabón en el baño, y que solamente a veces, le daban un cepillo de dientes para uso individual.
También contó que le ofrecieron darse una ducha al llegar a las instalaciones de San Ysidro, California, pero no lo hizo y el segundo o tercer día allí no le permitieron hacerlo.
Today Presidents Trump and Putin meet for summit, and the New York Times tells of an exiled Jehovah's Witness who proposes Trump ask Putin a simple question: "Why are Russians who pay their taxes, follow the law and embrace the Christian values promoted by the Kremlin being forced to flee their country?"
A simple [and single] question. To propose that Trump do this is exactly the non-confrontational style of Jehovah's Witnesses, and is proof in itself that they are not extremist. Moreover, because the goal is so modest, it is not impossible that it could happen. Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia is not everywhere, but where it is, it is draconian, with police dressed in riot gear breaking down doors to arrest them.
Meanwhile (and irrelevant), I did a google search of "New York Times Jehovah's Witnesses." The second hit is an article from 1958, telling of (I think) the largest Christian assembly in history.
Remember, Google is personalized. Your results may vary.
By Guest Nicole
Los dueños del Trump International Hotel, en PanamÃ¡, retiraron este lunes el cartel con el nombre del presidente estadounidense del edificio, en medio de un creciente pleito por la administraciÃ³n del negocio.
Â“Es una disputa comercial que saliÃ³ de control, y hoy esa disputa ha sido solucionada por los jueces y las autoridades panameÃ±asÂ”, dijo brevemente a periodistas el empresario chipriota Orestes Fintiklis, propietario del Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower.
El lujoso edificio, con forma de vela de navegaciÃ³n ubicado en un sector exclusivo de Ciudad de PanamÃ¡, es el primero del magnate en AmÃ©rica Latina.
Poco despuÃ©s de las declaraciones de Fintiklis, el rÃ³tulo con el nombre de Trump fue removido de la entrada del hotel, a la que acudiÃ³ este lunes una funcionaria del Ã“rgano Judicial. La responsable abandonÃ³ las instalaciones sin dar declaraciones y escoltada por la policÃa, constatÃ³ un periodista de AFP.
Â“Hoy PanamÃ¡ ha demostrado que tiene instituciones estables, y un marco legal que protege al inversionistaÂ”, aÃ±adiÃ³ Fintiklis sin entrar en mÃ¡s detalles.
Leer mÃ¡s:Â https://www.24matins.es/traf/america/quitan-nombre-de-trump-a-hotel-de-lujo-de-panama-en-disputa-comercial-3-54405
By Guest Nicole
En Rusia puedes ser condenado por extremista si eres acusado de “incitar a la discordia social” o por “expresión de superioridad religiosa”. Esta ambigua definición recogida en el Código Penal del país se ha utilizado en el caso contra Pussy Riot que envió a prisión dos de sus miembros durante dos años, y en la condena a un joven de 22 años por grabarse jugando Pokemon Go en una iglesia y subir el vídeo online. Asimismo, el Kremlin ha declarado a los Testigos de Jehová como una organización extremista y sus 170.000 miembros se arriesgan a multas o penas de cárcel si desafían la prohibición.
El Comité para la Eliminación de la Discriminación Racial de las Naciones Unidas se reúne en agosto para supervisar la aplicación de la Convención Internacional sobre la Eliminación de todas las Formas de Discriminación Racial. El órgano conformado por expertos independientes examina los informes presentados por los Estados que han ratificado la Convención, Rusia incluida. Organizaciones de la sociedad civil presentan asimismo informes ‘alternativos’ sobre la situación y participan en sesiones de debate.
La semana pasada, ADC Memorial, CrimeaSOS, SOVA Center y FIDH presentaron su informe al Comité y reclamaron al gobierno ruso que “cese la discriminación del estado contra grupos étnicos, modifique la contradictoria legislación antiextremista que viola la libertad de expresión”. Los casos recogidos por estas organizaciones en su informe alternativo demuestran cómo esta definición contribuye a un aumento en la vulneración de los derechos humanos, el control y censura de grupos de la oposición y sociedad civil.
Tras la anexión de Crimea en 2014, cientos de miles ucranianos y tártaros de Crimea pasaron de golpe a ser sujetos a la legislación rusa. Los autores del informe alternativo afirman que la persecución de estas etnias es especialmente preocupante ya que se enfrentan a “desapariciones forzosas, tortura, detenciones ilegales por motivos de etnia, así como limitaciones para estudiar y hablar sus lenguas nativas, practicar su religión y cultura”. A la discriminación étnica se le añade la represión religiosa, ya que como otros ciudadanos rusos provenientes del Cáucaso Norte, los tártaros de Crimea son en su mayoría musulmanes y se les acusa constantemente de extremismo y radicalismo religioso así como pertenencia a grupo terrorista. Alexander Verkhovsky, responsable del SOVA Center habla además de Caucasus-fobia ya que “se les dificulta el acceso a vivienda, trabajo o al sistema educativo y servicios sociales”.
El gobierno ruso ha declarado más de 148 ONGs como “agentes extranjeros”, muchas de las cuales centraban su trabajo en la defensa de los derechos de los pueblos indígenas, minorías étnicas y comunidad LGBTI. Cualquier organización con financiación externa que se involucre en “actividades políticas” puede ser condenada por infringir la ley. Con esto, el Kremlin limita el acceso a fondos del extranjero y asfixia económicamente las ONG’s que no convengan al gobierno ruso.
By Guest Nicole
President Barack Obama signed a letter to the United Nations in 2016 accepting the Paris climate
Last week, President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. But it will take more than one speech to pull out: Under the rules of the deal, which the White House says it will follow, the earliest any country can leave is Nov. 4, 2020. That means the United States will remain a party to the accord for nearly all of Mr. Trump’s current term, and it could still try to influence the climate talks during that span.
So the next four years will be a busy time for climate policy. Mr. Trump’s aides plan to keep working to dismantle domestic climate programs like the Clean Power Plan. And the world’s nations will meet regularly to hash out details of the Paris agreement, even as the United States’ exit looms. Here is what comes next.
Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/07/climate/trump-paris-climate-timeline.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0
By Guest Nicole
Here are the brands speaking out on the president’s plan to withdraw from the Paris climate accord.
BY ELIZA BROOKE JUN 2, 2017, 12:57PM EDT
Yesterday, President Trump announced his intention to withdraw the US from the Paris climate accord, a pact signed in 2015 by 195 countries rallying to combat global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Under President Obama, the US pledged to reduce its own emissions by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, and give $3 billion to a climate fund benefiting poorer nations.
It’s the current president’s view that adhering to the agreement would result in sweeping industrial job losses, though economists and executives at companies like Apple and Unilever contend that investing in the renewable energy sector would, in fact, create jobs. Indeed, it didn’t take long for business leaders, politicians, and brands to start speaking out against Trump’s plan and reaffirm their commitment to the goals set out in the Paris agreement.
Read more: https://www.racked.com/2017/6/2/15730376/business-response-trump-climate-policy
By JW Insider
Donald Trump and Jared Kushner Meet With Business Leaders, January22 2017
(Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press / Associated Press) May 25, 2017 · by Andrea Bernstein and Ilya Marritz The Watchtower in Brooklyn Heights is one of the most noticeable edifices in New York. It’s a complex of buildings on a bluff above the East River, with a sign on top that flashes the time and temperature. It used to be the world headquarters of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
But today, workers are preparing to give it a makeover. Like so much else in Brooklyn, the Watchtower has been sold to developers. It changed hands last August, shortly after Donald Trump accepted the Republican nomination for President.
The timing is relevant, because the buyer was Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. At $340 million, Kushner’s purchase of the Watchtower was one of the biggest real estate transactions in Brooklyn history.
Kushner didn’t buy the Watchtower alone. He had help from a company called CIM Group, a private equity firm based in Los Angeles. Over the years, documents show, CIM has done at least seven real estate deals that have benefited Trump and the people around him, including Kushner. Those deals included stabilizing the scandal-plagued Trump SoHo hotel, a key Manhattan holding for Trump and his children Ivanka, Eric, and Donald Jr.
At the same time, records show, CIM Group, with approximately $19.7 billion under management, has pursued an array of lucrative government contracts, pension investments, lobbying interests, and a global infrastructure fund, all of whose fortunes could benefit from a Trump presidency.
While both Kushner and Trump have distanced themselves from their businesses, neither man has divested. Ethics experts including Kathleen Clark of the Washington University School of Law say that because of the two men’s ongoing business interests, the web of connections with CIM is troubling, even if no laws are broken.
“Trump gives new meaning to the idea what’s good for Donald Trump is apparently good for America,” Clark said. “He doesn’t actually seem to have a conception of the public interest outside of himself or his company or his family. That’s astounding.”
The White House declined to comment for this story, but in the past has defended Trump and Kushner’s business ties, saying they’ve been vetted and are in compliance with laws and regulations. CIM declined to comment on potential conflicts.
What is CIM?
CIM Group is certainly known at the top echelons of New York real estate. But the company itself — its character, its founders — seem to leave few traces beyond the properties in which it invests.
“CIM stands out as being very secretive,” said Konrad Putzier, a reporter for the Real Deal magazine and website who has covered the company for several years. “The fact that we don’t even know what CIM stands for says it all.”
A spokesman said in an email "CIM stands for CIM…that is all."
CIM was founded in Los Angeles in 1994 by Shaul Kuba and Avi Shemesh, two Israelis, and Richard Ressler, a former New Yorker with private equity in his family — his brother Tony Ressler co-founded industry giant Apollo Global Management with his brother-in-law, Leon Black.
CIM’s strategy is to get good returns for investors by investing in undervalued urban real estate. The firm quickly became known in California for courting influential politicians and donating tens of thousands of dollars to a series of statewide political action committees.
In 2004, the firm acquired a package of properties that included the Kodak Theatre (now the Dolby Theatre) in Hollywood, where the Academy Awards are held. They purchased the real estate at a deep discount, after the previous owner ran into financial difficulties.
A few years later, CIM persuaded the city of Los Angeles to arrange a $30 million HUD loan to reconfigure the theater to stage shows from Cirque du Soleil. The arrangement was supposed to last a decade and generate hundreds of millions of dollars in new economic activity. Cirque’s show, however, fizzled after little more than a year.
CIM has plenty of friends in Los Angeles, but it also has plenty of critics. Dennis Zine, a retired police officer and former city councilman, helped the company win the right to develop the derelict Reseda Cinema, which appeared in the opening sequence of Boogie Nights. Zine said CIM promised big things, but then neglected the project, embarrassing him in the process.
“They burned their bridge with me,” Zine said.
CIM Moves into New York
Throughout the early 2000’s, CIM kept rolling up cash, in part by drawing investments from public pension funds like those in New York State and California. In 2010, when CIM made its first foray into New York, the two states had more than a billion dollars with CIM. Neither pension fund would discuss the reasons for their investments.
It was a great time for investors with an appetite for risk and the potential big payouts. The financial crisis had wiped out big banks like Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers. Those that were still around were barely lending, and many New York developers were struggling to pay their bills.
One of those was Harry Macklowe, who had acquired the site of the old Drake Hotel in Midtown Manhattan but lacked the money to build. Court records show Macklowe had tried to work out a deal to finance the project with Paul Manafort, who would later become Trump’s campaign manager, and a Ukrainian oligarch named Dmitry Firtash who had friendly relations with the Russian leader Vladimir Putin. But those negotiations went nowhere.
Then, in January 2010, CIM partnered with Macklowe to erect what is now known as 432 Park Avenue, the tallest residential tower in the Western Hemisphere. One unit later sold for $95 million.
Later that year, CIM saw another opportunity: the Trump SoHo.
Though the condo-hotel project had been announced on “The Apprentice” finale in 2006, it was troubled from the start. Neighbors were immediately alarmed and upset with the idea of an outsized tower in the low-rise, chic district.
Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, recalled that the project was plagued with problems. He said there were “deadly construction accidents, bodies being exhumed on the site from a 19th century abolitionist church, falling objects from the building.”
Just after a gala ribbon-cutting for the Trump SoHo in the fall of 2007, the New York Times reported that one of principals in the building partnership, Felix Sater, had been convicted of assault for cutting a man with a broken margarita glass in a bar fight. He’d pled guilty to a stock fraud scheme. Another principal, Kazakh-born Tevfik Arif,was arrested on child-prostitution charges in Turkey. He was later acquitted.
It was, as Berman described it, “just an endless array of scandals and connections between the financiers and Russian and Central Asian mobs.”
Condo buyers sued Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump, and Donald Trump Jr., saying they lied about how many units had been sold. The Manhattan District Attorney began investigating whether there had been criminal fraud. The lawsuit was eventually settled, with the plaintiffs required to sign non-disclosure agreements. With few witnesses, the D.A. dropped its probe.
By 2010, the partners behind Trump SoHo, were falling behind on their construction loans, and the lenders were threatening foreclosure.
That’s when CIM stepped in with a reported $85 million lifeline.
The same month CIM saved Trump SoHo, December 2010, CIM bailed out the project’s co-developer, Tamir Sapir, on two other properties he owned: 11 Madison Avenue and the William Beaver House in Lower Manhattan. In all, CIM spent more than a half-billion dollars and gained a stake in some prime New York City properties.
“There was a short window of opportunity that they just seized,” said the Real Deal’s Putzier.
CIM also soon embarked on its first venture with Kushner, an office building at 200 Lafayette Street. The New York Post reported that when they sold the building in 2013 — after $30 million in renovations — the new buyer paid three times as much as Kushner and CIM had initially invested. CIM and Kushner also appeared to turn a quick profit on another jointly-purchased office building, 2 Rector Street.
“The connection with Kushner, it’s very fitting,” Putzier said. He noted that the Kushner Companies own 20,000 apartments and 13 million square feet of office and industrial space, “but...they’re a family company, so when they do a lot of deals they usually need a partner with a lot of equity to help them, and that has often been CIM Group.”
Kushner Companies agrees. In a statement, President Laurent Morali — who replaced Jared Kushner as the firm’s top executive after Kushner went to work in the White House — said “CIM is a strong longstanding partner with a developer’s DNA. They can work through complicated situations, are thorough and strategic, yet also make quick decisions.” The feeling is mutual: CIM said in a statement that it has “strong, collaborative relationship with the team at Kushner, which has proven to be a valuable local partner.”
CIM also said it “has only one business relationship with a Trump-related company” — the Trump SoHo. The Trump Organization declined to comment for this story; it manages the property under the terms of a licensing agreement.
"The headline attraction of being somehow even tacitly aligned with the President of the United States could provide an incredible fundraising opportunity if they play it right, if they spin it the right way," said Serge Reda an adjunct professor at Fordham Business School. While the specifics of CIM's pitch to investors are unknown, Reda said it would be expected that a private equity firm would discuss its record.
When CIM started making deals with the Trumps and the Kushners, its executives had no idea their business partners would one day occupy the Oval Office. But now they do, and ethics experts say that puts CIM’s connections to the First Family and its significant government business dealings in a new light.
The full extent of CIM’s government ties is not known; much of its business is private, though some investments are publicly traded. In public disclosures, CIM said it received annualized rent of $37.7 million from the General Services Administration and other federal agencies. The company said that losing business from a downsized government "could have a material adverse effect."
CIM also depends on the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, which provides a path for foreign investors in American real estate to obtain U.S. green cards. According to the non-partisan research group Opensecrets.org, CIM spent $430,000 on federal lobbying in 2015, putting it among the top ten real estate firms lobbying on that issue. CIM listed preserving the EB-5 program as a major lobbying priority.
This is the same program that Jared Kushner’s sister Nicole Meyer, one of his siblings who now runs the family business, was recently promoting in China.
There’s one more program CIM might benefit from, which could dwarf its profits from EB-5, rents or pensions. According to SEC disclosures, CIM has an infrastructure investment fund which it acknowledges is sensitive to “regulation” and “political events.” If Trump gets an infrastructure bill passed, funds like this could earn many millions from projects like roads and tunnels.
Kushner is at the center of the administration’s building plans. In March, the White House announced that he would head an “Office of American Innovation” whose mandates include “creating transformational infrastructure projects.”
"Whether the parties are doing something untoward or not, the situation creates doubt, and it will follow the President throughout his term as long as he owns his business," said Jordan Libowitz, a spokesperson for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington or CREW. "It’s a question we shouldn’t be having to ask.” His group is suing the president for violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.
Last December, as the president-elect was preparing to move to the White House, the firm did one more deal with Trump-world: CIM helped Kushner Companies buy 85 Jay Street, a parking lot in Brooklyn, for an eye-popping $345 million.
Watch that space.
By Guest Nicole
"Los terroristas no veneran a Dios. Veneran la muerte", ha declarado el presidente de Estados Unidos, Donald Trump, en la cumbre árabe-islámica-estadounidense en Riad.
Donald Trump ofrece un discurso en la cumbre árabe-islámica-estadounidense en Riad, Arabia Saudita, el 21 de mayo de 2017.
Jonathan Ernst / Reuters
Un día después de llegar a Arabia Saudita, este domingo el mandatario de Estados Unidos, Donald Trump, ofrece un discurso en la cumbre árabe-islámica-estadounidense en Riad. Durante su primer viaje al extranjero en el cargo actual, el presidente estadounidense busca "fortalecer antiguas amistades de EE.UU. y buscar nuevos socios para lograr la paz". "EE.UU. no buscará imponer su estilo de vida a otros, sino tender manos con espíritu de cooperación y confianza", ha asegurado.
Trump ha declarado que EE.UU. aboga por la creación de una "coalición de naciones" en Oriente Medio, con el fin de "erradicar el extremismo". Ha calificado la lucha contra los extremistas como una "batalla entre el bien y el mal" y ha precisado que combatir al terrorismo "no es una batalla entre diferentes creencias, diferentes sectas o diferentes civilizaciones", sino "una batalla entre quienes buscan aniquilar la vida humana y quienes buscan protegerla".
"Los terroristas no veneran a Dios. Veneran la muerte", ha destacado. También ha recordado que "el 95 % de las víctimas de los ataques terroristas son los propios musulmanes", en su mayoría, "inocentes de naciones árabes, musulmanas y de Oriente Medio".
Leer más: https://actualidad.rt.com/actualidad/239024-trump-coalicion-oriente-medio-erradicar-extremismo
Threat of international tension over Jehovah's Witnesses case NOW TRUMP MAY BE ANGERED BY "PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS" IN RUSSIABy bruceq
Threat of international tension over Jehovah's Witnesses case
NOW TRUMP MAY BE ANGERED BY "PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS" IN RUSSIA
Izvestiia, 7 April 2017
If the Russian response to the missile attack of the USA in Syria becomes a military-political game on steroids, then the subterfuge of the new confrontation inevitably will touch the topic of so-called "spiritual security" that is sensitive for our country. Passions have been inflamed over the lawsuit of the Russian Ministry of Justice for the liquidation of the Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses. In response, the movement rolled out a worldwide campaign #stopjwban, an appeal to put pressure on Russia so that the authorities would abandon their claim on the religious organization, known for their active evangelism.
Year after year the Jehovah's Witnesses consistently wind up in reports of the USA State Department about recognition of freedom of conscience in various countries. Sometimes these charges bypass the ears, but in moments of international tension they are recalled. Our average persons consider Jehovists an "alien sect," in opposition to the traditional—Orthodox—Christianity. But the representatives of the movement themselves stress that the attacks are directly against a movement that spreads biblical teaching. The recent seizure of a batch of Bibles, which "did not correspond" with the synodal edition, was bad for Russia's reputation. Almost all protestant denominations in Russia came to the defense of Sacred Scripture in the JW translation.
In the USA, with its tradition of free diversity of religious currents, any action against people who declare themselves to be preachers of evangelical teaching is taken as "persecution of Christians." Donald Trump, who is now turning Reagan-style emotions into grand policy, may use the conflicts in the religious sphere for pressure on Russia. The bad memory of the expression "evil empire" has returned, to the amazement of Russian Christians and in spite of the rhetoric of the religious renaissance.
It may be a dangerous trend to roll out the reaction in the area of ensuring "spiritual security," if it is now that other religious currents, beside Jehovah's Witnesses, that have American origins and ecclesiastical centers in the West, fall under the blow of justice.
In addition, there may be dangerous consequences in the propaganda campaign that is now developing around the fate of various persons suspected of committing recent terrorist acts in Russian cities. Media resources, several of which are located in Turkey, methodically speak of "persecution of Christians," while the main story is the dismissal from work and refusal to board on an airplane of Andrei Nikitin, who originally was suspected of committing a terrorist act in the St. Petersburg subway. The Muslim topic may be used for justifying a break of allied relations with Turkey, which now hang by a thread. (tr. by PDS, posted 7 April 2017)
By Guest Nicole
Rusia estudia ilegalizar a los Testigos de Jehová por "extremistas"
El Tribunal Supremo de Rusia estudiará si considera a los Testigos de Jehová una organización "extremista", después de que el Ministerio de Justicia solicitase permiso para cerrar las principales oficinas de este grupo religioso, ubicadas en la ciudad de San Petersburgo.
La página web del Supremo recoge que la máxima instancia judicial se reunirá el 5 de abril para estudiar dicha petición, que supondría en la práctica la ilegalización de una organización que dice contar con ocho millones de seguidores en todo el mundo. Los Testigos de Jehová han asegurado en un comunicado que "millones de creyentes de todo el mundo consideran las acciones del Ministerio un gran error" y han subrayado que no son una organización extremista. En este sentido, han recordado que el veto afectaría a 400 de sus ramificaciones y a un total de 175.000 fieles.
"Si esta denuncia prospera, acarreará consecuencias catastróficas para la libertad religiosa en Rusia", han lamentado los Testigos de Jehová en su nota. Las autoridades ya realizaron este año un masivo registro en la sede de San Petersburgo en la que se incautaron de documentación.
Rusia ya ha prohibido publicaciones de la organización argumentando que destruye familias e incita al odio y, según Amnistía Internacional, 16 miembros ya fueron condenados a finales de 2015 por pertenencia a una "organización extremista".
By Guest Nicole
WASHINGTON — From the grave of a suffragist in upstate New York to the 16th Street Baptist Churchin Birmingham, Ala., and the Brandenburg Gate in Germany, President-elect Donald Trump has quite a welcome committee: An estimated 1 million people plan to demonstrate in all 50 states and 32 countries.
In the U.S. capital alone, the National Park Servicehas issued permits for 25 separate events the weekend of his Jan. 20 swearing-in as the nation's 45th president. It’s a number that’s “pretty well unprecedented” relative to past inaugurations, said Mike Litterst, a park service spokesman. “The biggest issue is merely finding space for all of these groups that allows for a meaningful demonstration,” he said.
The main event is the Women’s March on Washington, which will draw at least 200,000 individuals with concerns about threats to women's rights, including abortion, as well as affordable health care and equal pay. It has inspired about 300 others of varying sizes across the country and on every continent, according to Yordanos Eyoel, spokeswoman for the network of sister marches.
While there are a few groups — like Bikers for Trump — coming to show their support, the vast majority are protesters, according to a Park Service spreadsheet of permit applications. What’s unique is that “people who have never been politically active before are now mobilizing,” said Eyoel, a Boston-based organizer from Ethiopia who became a U.S. citizen last fall.
Cities with the largest number of registrants include Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Boston, Denver, and Minneapolis. There are marches even in smaller and non-coastal cities including Topeka, Nashville, and Des Moines. “The message here is women’s rights are human rights, and we are not taking a single step back,” said Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, among the partner groups.
Others are more openly hostile to the incoming president.
“We’re more than disappointed in Trump. We’re disgusted,” said Working Families Party senior advisor Valerie Ervin. “We learned about Donald Trump’s attitude toward women once and for all when he boasted about sexual assault,” she said. "Not just today but for years to come we will march and we will fight.”
The hundreds of thousands of marchers descending on Washington belie their challenge in presenting a unified front: Trump was elected with plenty of support from women. “There are women who have always fought against and will continue to fight against systemic and patriarchal structures. This march, though, is taking place in a different context,” said Brandy Faulkner, a politics expert at Virginia Tech. “We have a president-elect who is on tape bragging about a sexual assault. Yet, roughly 54% of white women who voted supported him,” said Faulkner.
Even so, O’Neill hopes Trump will take notice of their passion since “a lot more people may be coming to our march than are coming to his inauguration,” she said. According to the D.C. Department of Transportation, as of Friday there were 393 charter buses registered for parking on the day of Trump’s inauguration, compared to the 1,200 registered the day of the women’s march.
Demonstrators carry signs during a "Love Rally" in New York on Nov. 11, 2016, to protest the election of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump. Bryan R. Smith, AFP/Getty Images
The diverse groups participating — from Amnesty International to Planned Parenthood— see the marches as an orientation of sorts for a longer term resistance to the Trump agenda. Filmmaker and activist Michael Moore has called for “100 days of resistance” to Trump’s presidency that starts with the women’s march. The big test will be “whether the groups will pursue a collective policy agenda after the marching is done,” said Faulkner.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said 99 protest groups are expected for the inauguration, including 63 that are expected to protest on Jan. 20.
Organizers are hoping participants will form alliances and inspire women to get more involved in their local communities, and according to O'Neill, civil rights and women’s rights groups have already begun closer coordination in the wake of Trump’s Nov. 8 victory.
A lot depends on people like Esther Lofgren, a 31-year-old Olympic gold medalist in rowing who hasn’t been an activist but now wants to advance women’s issues. “It seems like a very important time to speak up for human rights,” she said. “As an athlete, I know how important my body and what I choose to do with it is,” said Lofgren, who’ll march with her teammates as part of a group called Athlete Ally and who has just begun to consider which specific causes to adopt.
Among the groups that have sprouted in the aftermath of the election is Lawyers for Good Government, a new national organization of more than 120,000 lawyers and activists offering pro-bono work to defend civil and human rights that says it wants “to harness, empower and coordinate the unprecedented political energy that has emerged” since Trump’s election. A day after the march, EMILY’s List will hold a candidate training for about 500 women interested in running for office. The group will "undertake a major effort to recruit, train, and elect more pro-choice Democratic women to office nationwide,” it said in a statement. Public Citizen and others will host a “teach-in” to inform new activists how to “plug into grassroots campaigns and acquire skills to take home to their communities.”
Whenever there are large protests there’s potential for clashes. That's more likely to happen on inauguration day than it is during the women's march. "There’s a lot of baby strollers at women’s marches. It’s not a raucous march," said O'Neill.
'A wall of meat'
During the inauguration, a group called #DisruptJ20 is vowing a “festival of resistance” to include a march and rallies at all 12 Secret Service security checkpoints and “colorful disruptions” along the inaugural parade route to protest “racial justice, immigrant rights, LGBTQ, antiwar, climate” and other concerns. The group spent the weekend of Jan. 14 in a series of trainings and workshops. It may also attempt to disrupt inaugural balls attended by Trump supporters, including the “Deploraball.”
The main pro-Trump group organizing around the inauguration is Bikers for Trump, a motorcycle group led by a South Carolina chainsaw artist who mowed the lawn around the Lincoln Memorial during the 2013 government shutdown. On Thursday, the group posted on Twitter that Trump is “instructing his staff to give us the resources to put on the best rally possible.” Still, on Friday its founder, Chris Cox, told Fox Business Network “the bikers are certainly used to being outnumbered and we are prepared to form a wall of meat.”
There are so many groups planning to storm the streets of Washington that Mic created a realtime map for protesters and watchers called “Storm the Swamp” to help keep track of the planned chaos. Others include an estimated 500 who will hold a peaceful candlelight vigil commemorating women who stood vigil in front of the White House from 1913 to 1917 to advocate for suffrage during which the Seneca Falls Declaration will be read.
Finally, a pro-marijuana legalization group plans to hand out a few thousand free joints to raise awareness about the benefits of marijuana legalization. “At 4 minutes and 20 seconds into President Trump’s speech we’ll light up! (unless President Trump comes out now in support of full cannabis legalization in all 50 states and DC!)” DCMJ says on its homepage.
By Guest Nicole
A man climbing Trump Tower managed to make it up 21 floors before he was grabbed by the NYPD. In a cryptic video posted to YouTube, he claimed that he did so to get Donald Trump’s attention and urged viewers to vote for Trump, as well as make it go viral.
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