By Pacita Rudder & Tracey Corder
“Inauguration” marks the beginning of a new period. We couldn’t be more clear that this Friday we will mark the beginning of a period of resistance in the name of love, liberation and unity. We will not observe, and certainly won’t celebrate or honor, the beginning of the Trump presidency. What we will do is inaugurate resistance to an administration that has made clear that our values are under attack.
On January 20th, we will march through San Francisco to protest any entity – president or corporation, that supports hate policies that harm our communities.
Please join us at Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco’s financial district at 9:30AM to show the country and the world that we will not be silenced nor will we tolerate abuse from any level of our government or institutions. Following the march, our sister organizations in Bay Rising will lead weekly actions during the first 100 days of the new administration.
We have seen the rise in attacks on healthcare, people of color, women, Muslims and immigrants throughout this presidential campaign, and although attacks on the most marginalized communities are nothing new, the blatant hate speech and policies in our highest reaches of government is horrifying. For many people, this is a time of overwhelming stress and anxiety. But we draw strength from each other and know that this is not normal and this is not something that we will accept.
As we continue to reflect on and draw inspiration from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. we remember these words:
“We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”
We are not asking for our freedom from this administration. We are letting them know, from day one, that we demand it through resistance of harmful policies that attack our health care, our environment, our bodies, and our identities.
Many of our friends have compared this time to a dystopian fantasy novel. A period that seems so unreal that it could only be a work of fiction. But, whether you are a Katniss Everdeen or Albus Dumbledore fan, we leave you with two of our favorite quotes from both Harry Potter and The Hunger Games.
When Albus Dumbledore had to talk to a frightened boy about bravery in the face of evil, he said “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” We choose love over hate, no matter how difficult it may seem because that is the key to our freedom. To truly love one another we must show up for each other and actively share our love through visible protest of anything that aims to tear us apart.
When President Snow talked of how he would depress a population and keep them under his control, he said, “Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective, a lot of hope is dangerous. A spark is fine, as long as it’s contained.” What we know is we refuse to be contained and we will continue to resist against policies of fear and division.
On Friday, we will choose resistance over idleness and hope over fear. At Oakland Rising, we know that it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel during periods of struggle and heartbreak. But we also know through our many years of fighting for the Oakland community that our wins have never come through silence. We hope to see you out in the streets.
Oakland, CA 94612
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