Trump Hotel ribbon-cutting driven indoors by protest

On the 26th of October, Donald Trump planned to stage a ceremonial ribbon-cutting to “open” his hotel on Penn Ave. Protesters got there first and defied police demands to shut down and move. Thus the ribbon cutting had to be held indoors while an ever-growing number of protesters from ANSWER, trade unions, Code Pink, and many more groups controlled the Plaza.

Before the protest began it looked like Trump had already given up on doing the ribbon cutting outdoors. The whole hotel was surrounded by waist-high fencing, looking like “Ft Trump” and most of the suits were going to the side entrance area. As protesters began to set up ,a Park Police officer unplugged ANSWER’s sound system and demanded they move. Backed by the Partnership for Civil Justice they refused to move and plugged the sound back in as the cop retreated, his bluff called.

It is not certain whether the attempt by Trump to regain control of the Plaza was an attempt to move the ribbon cutting back to its original outdoor location or just an effort to get the protest out of sight and sound. Had protesters complied the next step would surely have been a demand to cross the street or move a block (or more) away. ANSWER is far too experienced to be intimidated into that by lies and deception.

At 11AM, union protesters demanding that Trumo honor a union election won by workers at the Las Vegas Trump Hotel joined the protest. This was not the first time they had been to Trump’s DC hotel and like last time this set up a massive picket line. Global Zero showed up warning that permitting Donald Trump to control US nuclear weapons would create a severe danger of nuclear war. Code Pink marched in the picket and staged a skit in front of the hotel, saying immigrants and refugees are welcome here. Finally, some protesters staged a symbolic tying of a cut ribbon back together in nearly the exact spot Trump had hoped to cut his ribbon.

The precedent has been set for defying Trump’s illegal claim to control who is permitted to protest on Penn Ave and getting away with it. When the Park Police cops claimed a permit would have to be approved by Trump, the response was effectively that no permit is needed other than the First Amendment. The cops gave up, and protesters controlled the plaza for hours. Trump stayed out of sight, it seemed he must have had himself smuggled in and out of his own hotel like an oversized bag of dope.

Video: Cop vs Partnership for Civil Justice,protest grew and grew after police conceded defeat

Park Police officer tries and fails to bluff ANSWER into abandoning the Penn Ave Plaza at the start of the protest

Code Pink marching with the massive union picket 1 1/2 hours after police demands to leave were refused

Protesters tie a ribbon back together where Trump wanted to cut one

Union picketers move to the side entrance in response to work Trump might emerge there-he did not

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Trump lampooned at DC’s pre-Halloween High Heel Race

The annual high heel race on 17 st is on the last Tuesday before Halloween and is known for political contestants in election years. This year was no exception, with a whole contingent of runners in high heels posing as Trump supporters but mocking his vulgar sexist remarks and grabby hands.

37 second video of high heeled contestants mocking Trump’s grabby hands

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Trump-loving “Alt-right” speaker at U-MD cancelled citing “security expenses”

On the 25th of October, Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak at University of MD. He is known for directing hate at Muslims and at Black Lives Matter activists. With other universities at which he peddled his hate claiming to have received bomb threats,Terps for Trump(the student group hosting his event) cancelled, claiming security expenses would exceeed $2,000 and the total expense of letting him speak exceed $6,500. Hate has been made too expensive even for priviliged white republicans at University of MD.

With the popular revulsion his hate has attracted, Milo wanted an escort of five police officers for his appearance at University of MD. The far-right and even the racist alt-right are not known for courage. In the face of resistance they chump out like the cowards they are. By comparison, progressive speakers are not known for hiding behind cops even in places where “bonehead” violence from the far-right is a real threat, presumably because police simply add an additional threat in that case.

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Black Lives Matter marches with red taped mouths for Terrence Sterling

On the 24th of October, Black Lives Matter activists gathered once again at 3ed and M st, where Terrence Sterling was shot off his motorcycle by a cop who rolled down his window and opened fire on Sep 11. This time, protesters marched around the block with red tape over their mouths symbolizing the obstruction of justice by Mayor Bowser and the police as the community seeks answers and the rest of the video footage of the shooting.

Video-marchers with red tape over their mouths(1 min 10 sec)

At the end of the march, a police car parked near 3ed and M was noticed with license plate readers mounted. It was in position to record tag numbers of anyone who drove past it while leaving the protest by car.

license plate readers mounted on cop car by 3ed and M, parked facing wrong way. The tag readers are facing forward, towards the protest area.

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Take Back Democracy March condemns nomination stolen from Sanders, charges rich control both sides of ballot

On the 23ed of October, the “Take Back Democracy March on DC” condemned Hillery Clinton for rigging the Democratic primaries to defeat Bernie Sanders. The majority of the march appeared to support Green Party candidate Jill Stein as an alternative to a ballot they say is rigged by controlling both sides.

As always seems to be the case these days, the street in front of the White House was closed when the march arrived there. Later on, the march went past a parked Trump campaign van to the sound of booing marchers and then the van’s car alarm. No damage to the van was visible-this time around. While most of the march’s anger was directed at Hillery for her Wikileaks-proven efforts to sabotage Bernie Sander’s primary campaign, Trump was also recognized as a representative of the “1%,” and Occupy’s “we are the 99%” chant was heard as the march ended back at the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool.

It can be said that with Trump as the GOP nominee and Hillery as the Democratic nominee that this is a race between the Trump and Goldman-Sachs corporate brands. Whether or not Hillery or Trump can steal the general election results from their rivals, there is no question the two-party system effectively locks out real choices.

Major demands seen on multiple protest signs include stopping the TPP trade deal, stopping the Dakota Access Pipeline, a ban on fracking, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour nationally, and universal single payer heath care. Both candidates claim to oppose the TPP, but Hillery is suspected of planning to change her mind after the election. Trump for his part is known to outsource his production at every opportunity and buy dumped Chinese steel. Thus globalization is not on the ballot. For both the Dakota Access Pipeline and fracking, Trump is an oil man who will oppose the people on both issue and may launch a military assault on Standing Rock.

Hillery is silent on the Dakota Access pipeline, raising suspicions that she also is for it given the votes a public statement against it could earn her. Hillery has named pro-fracking, pro-TPP advocate Ken Salazar as her presidential transition team chairman, putting all three of these issues in doubt. A company owned by one of Donald Trump’s aides plans to run its oil through the Dakota Access pipeline if it ever opens, so he should be considered irrevocably committed to the DAPL.

If Hillery wins, one route remains open for progressives concerning Executive Branch policymaking: her positions are known to change from day to day, depending on where the wind is blowing from. If the wind is blowing from Sunoco’s corporate headquarters she will take the same positions as Donald Trump on the DAPL and on fracking. If the wind shifts to blow from Standing Rock she may do the opposte, so the Left will need to be prepared for a very hard fight.

There was little mention is the October 23 march of the gutter, violent racism of Donald Trump, which is the one real criticism of it. To their credit the march did boo that Trump campaign van, and many of the charges of a rigged election were that it is rigged by controlling both sides of the ballot, something you will never hear from Donald Trump’s campaign. Certainly if Trump wins the election many will be in for a desperate fight for survival, with mass migrant roundups, more power to racist cops, and a possible armed assault on Standing Rock as the immediate threats.

HIllery too has had a racist past however, notably her accusation that African-American teenagers were “superpredators” and her role in sending innocent men to jail in the New York City Central Park “wilding” case. During primary season several Clinton events were disrupted by Black Lives Matter activists. Post-primary most of that seems to have been stood down, mostly for fear that Donald Trump would be the beneficiary. DC and MD, however are states that Donald Trump has almost no chance of winning, so a fear-based vote for Hillery in either jurisdiction is clearly a wasted vote.

No matter how you slice it though, this election is already turning people out in the streets, even before most ballots are cast and (maybe) counted. No matter who wins and who loses, a dsputed election will mean massive protests dwarfing the Bush vs Gore era, possibly culminating in a brutal, 3-way fight at the Jan 20 Counterinaugural.

Video of the march featuring “Bern it down” theme

The “Bern it Down” banner was also seen during the DNC protests in Philadelphia

As always, Penn Ave was closed in front of the White House

This “Trumpmobile” was booed and its alarm was howling after the march passed. No apparent damage this time around

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Hearing on proposed permanent Metro night closure draws protesters

On the 20th of October, Metro’s board held a public hearing on proposed service cuts and fare hikes for Metro, including the proposed permanent midnight closure even after “safe track” is finished. Over 60 people spoke against the proposals at the hearing and more protested outside.

The biggest controversy this time around is over the proposal to shut Metro down at midnight or earlier 7 days a week, permanently. They are proposing to close Metro stations in off-peak hours as well As always they are proposing to cut bus routes as well, even as low income neighborhoods like Congress Heights are targetted to lose their Metro stations. As they do seemingly every year, the Metro board is also proposing to demand that Metro’s riders pay even higher fares for this reduced service.

At the protest outside, an activist from DC’s Statehood Green Party said there are enough millionaires in DC for taxes on them or on corporations that rely on Metro to at least cover the cost of keeping Metro running and probably to make it much cheaper or even free. Gas tax increases for Metro would be another option, given that gas is selling for barely over half what it did a few years ago. If Metro spirals into the ground and shuts down outright, the effect on car and even bike traffic would probably be as bad a closing down at least one lane on every road in or out of DC-permanently.

Speaking of bicycles, the recent huge increase in the number of people riding bicycles in DC appears to match declines in Metro ridership. There are at least as many drivers as before if not more due to all that cheap gas.

The seemingly annual proposals for service cuts and fare hikes make both MetroBus and MetroRail “politically unreliable.” This means if you rely on Metro, at any time your route could be cut, you could be subjected to a de facto curfew by reduced late-night hours, or Metro could impose new “security” rules that make you regret your choice to rely on them.

Several people at the rally also agreed when asked that Metro is dangerously over-policed and that for some that is a reason not to ride the trains. Just yesterday a female African-American high school student was assaulted by Metro Transit police over a lollipop.

Mainstream media reports from inside the hearing report people complaining about being stuck at their place of work after Metro closes all the way to Metro’s opening the next morning. Not all jobs pay enough for people to use Uber to get home, and not everyone has a smartphone. Beyond this, Metro’s problems have caused a steady rise in traffic on DC streets.

The combination of Safe Track with the Beach Drive shutdown has created so much traffic on 16th st that it is now nearly impassable even to cyclists in some places, forcing bikes onto sidewalks and adding pedestrians to the those impacted by this mess. Shutting down Metro at night is guaranteed to lead on the one hand to less business in the city’s bars and nighclubs, but also to a lot more drunk driving by those who go out to drink anyway.

Video-Statehood Green activist offers tax on millionaires or on corporations as ways to fund Metro

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Jews United for Justice holds rent control street theater demanding loopholes be closed

On the 20th of October, Jews United for Justice set up a “share the harvest” sukkot (booth) outside the Wilson Building, then staged a ceremony in which paper chains with six gaps were joined together to demand that six crucial loopholes that make DC’s rent control law nearly useless be closed.

Councilmember Anita Bonds and Councilmember Robert White Jr both participating in stapling closed paper chains symbolizing these loopholes:

1: Hardship petition process used by landlords to get exceptions

2: Seniors and disabled people getting extreme rent increased

3: Lack of legal representation in landlord-tenant court

4: Landlords advertising lower rents than actually charged

5: Both the 2% annual increase and vacancy rent increases

6: Landlords circumventing tenant’s first right to purchase when buildings are sold

Video showing symbolic closure of all six loopholes

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