Chicago-area representatives of a national coalition urging resistance to what they said were the fascist impulses of President Elect Donald Trump and his incoming administration, on Dec. 19, launched a planned month-long series of actions with a press conference at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse downtown.
The coalition, ResistFascism.org, is planning demonstrations and other actions which will culminate on the date of Trump's inauguration in January. An official national launch is scheduled to take place in New York City the evening of Dec. 19.
Among the actions are protests at Trump-branded hotels on New Year's Eve, said spokesperson Jay Becker, who added that "the consequences for humanity will be disastrous" should Trump come into office.
The coalition's goal is to "de-president" Trump. Becker recalled that Lyndon Johnson, who did not run for a second complete term, and Richard Nixon, who resigned before he could be impeached, were two presidents whose leadership was questioned and overruled by public opinion. Among the dangers they said are already apparent from the president elect's incoming administration are cabinet members that have largely advocated against the interests of the departments they are heading up, and public calls by newly-emboldened conservative organizations and politicians to weed out left-leaning elements from government agencies. That includes a Dec. 15 urging from the Family Research Council to remove LGBT individuals from the State Department.
Speakers at the press conference included Nelson Benitez, an organizer for Asociacion Ecuador Unido; minister and activist Gregg Greer; Corey SirRey Mason, co-executive director of Fearless Leading by the Youth; Dee Williams of Chicago Revolution Club; activist Jack Altschuler; and musician-activist Ted Sirota.
"We have to combat this fascist regime," warned Benitez. "We have to say no to Trump."
Altschuler noted that even before a Trump administration has come into power, it has welcomed a close alliance between corporate and government interests, a traditional indicator of a fascist government. "We need to stand up and make our voices heard," he said.
Sirota formed a coalition called Degenerate Artists Against a Fascist America, a name reflecting the moniker fascist societies often use to label artists, intellectuals and free-thinkers"degenerate."
"We're not going to stand for this," he said. "We're not scared. We're going to fight back against fascism."
The first Chicago meeting of RefuseFascism.org takes place Dec. 19 from 7-10 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church, 125 E. 26th St. The national launch will also be streamed at 6 p.m. More information is at RefuseFascism.org .