The Rapidian

West Michigan's far-left join together to protest one year of Trump in office

West Michigan Far-left join together to protest one year of Trump in Office with speeches, flag burning and a march.
Far-left protesters gather on Calder Plaza on Saturday, January 20, 2018.

Far-left protesters gather on Calder Plaza on Saturday, January 20, 2018. /John Rothwell

What is left of a burned Trump and American flag lay smoldering in the snow on Saturday, January 20, 2018.

What is left of a burned Trump and American flag lay smoldering in the snow on Saturday, January 20, 2018. /John Rothwell

Protesters block traffic on their mach to Rosa Parks Circle.

Protesters block traffic on their mach to Rosa Parks Circle. /John Rothwell

On January 20, 2018, the one-year anniversary of the Trump inauguration, around 50 people representing groups from West Michigan's Far-left joined together on Calder Plaza in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They were there to raise awareness that they are organizing in West Michigan and hold a rally against Trump and show support of the J20 (January 20th) defendants that were arrested the previous year protesting the Trump inauguration in Washington, D.C.

 

“A number of protesters people who were just in the vicinity were rounded up and arrested just for being there,” event organizer and leader of the Grand Rapids Branch of Socialist Alternative Philip Snyder said of the 2017 Washington, D.C. arrest. “It has been a year of their lives being disrupted by the federal government conspiracy with charges being raised against them for just being in the vicinity, reporters included.”

 

Several speakers addressed the crowd on topics that have become issues in the past year since Donald Trump was sworn into office. The issues highlighted included I.C.E. raids taking place around West Michigan, treatment of Native Americans, women, Jewish people and members of the LBGTQIA+ community.

 

As the last speaker was winding down a small group of individuals burned both a Trump and American flag.

 

“Burning the flag you know there is such a stigma around it and people think that it is this horrible thing to do but that's because their view of nationalism is distorted,” Local activist Liz Kurdziel said. “We do not owe allegiance to any flag and if Trump's flag represents a disgusting ideology where we encourage racism, sexism, and homophobia of course we are going to burn it the hell down.”

 

After the burning of the flags the many members of the protest marched from Calder Plaza to Rosa Parks circle and back chanting "No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA."

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