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.
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