Trump’s unwelcoming party
Multiple protests planned for inaugural weekend
As a female-born, transgender Native American and member of the LGBT community, Nicolette Three Moons Richards is no stranger to feeling marginalized by society, a condition the Chico State student feels is bound to worsen as President-elect Donald Trump takes the oath of office Friday (Jan. 20).
“[Trump’s inauguration] is something I felt the need to acknowledge,” said Richards, one of the planners behind the Women’s March on Chico this Saturday (Jan. 21). “Every single one of the identities that make me who I am is being harmed and in danger by the current political climate and social environment.
“It’s something you can’t ignore when you realize your life and rights, and those of the people you love, are in danger. You start to realize that if you don’t do something, you might lose everything.”
Saturday’s march and rally at the Chico City Plaza is one of more than 300 such actions across the country planned to coincide with the massive Women’s March on Washington. The main event at the nation’s capital and its “sister marches” are meant to protest Trump’s professed views and threatened policies on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, immigration, health care and other issues.
“It’s really a huge collaborative effort that a lot of people have been contributing to, and that’s what makes it a really powerful experience,” Richards, who noted inclusion was one of the organizers’ main goals, said of the local action.
The Chico march is scheduled for 10:30 a.m., followed by a series of guest speakers beginning at noon. Speakers include members of local Native American and other communities of color, health care workers, educators, undocumented college students and representatives from local service agencies and faith groups.
Mary Wallmark, a coordinator at Chico State’s Student Life and Leadership Center, was also moved to take action by the Women’s Marches. In December, when she heard about the events being planned, she began organizing transportation to the Sacramento march for faculty, staff, students and community members.
“The march in Sacramento is a chance for people to experience large-scale activism,” she said. “It’s going to be a huge, historic event, and we wanted to give our students the opportunity to be a part of it.”
Wallmark said the SLLC is “always looking for interesting life and leadership experiences for students” but lacks the budget to organize field trips. So, she contacted local transportation companies and began soliciting donations through social media and other communications with the campus community herself, eventually raising more than $2,300 to charter a 56-person bus and 15-passenger shuttle. Staff and faculty can book a seat on the bus for $30, and students ride free. Interested parties should sign up at the school’s Student Life and Leadership or Cross-Cultural Leadership centers.
“We don’t care why people choose to go,” Wallmark said. “The march is about women’s rights, but people are welcome to ride even if they want to go tell all the marchers that they’re wrong. We just want our students to have the chance to be there.”
Saturday’s Women’s March will mark the second day of demonstrations in response to Trump’s inauguration. A day-long series of actions collectively called “Inaugurate Resistance” are also scheduled for Friday. The events are being organized by several separate activist and community groups under the banner of the Nor Cal January 20th Solidarity Coalition.
Morning and evening “visibility actions” are planned at 7:15 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. at two locations, Raley’s Plaza on Skyway at Notre Dame Boulevard and at the corner of The Esplanade and East Avenue. Participants are invited to bring signs.
A community viewing of Democracy Now! and other alternative media sources’ coverage of the inauguration is set from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at the Pageant Theatre, followed immediately by a march through downtown Chico. At noon, Chico State’s Selvester’s Cafe is hosting a youth-centered poetry, spoken word and open-mic event.
Another rally and march will be held at Chico City Plaza Friday night, beginning at 7.