Socialist Alternative MN promised concerned Twin Cities residents at a panel discussion Saturday that it will continue to lead protests and walkouts in the weeks leading up to President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration Jan. 20.
It’s the group’s “next step” following a Nov. 10 Cedar-Riverside protest in which more than 1,000 activists shut down a stretch of Interstate 94 near East Franklin Avenue.
Community activists expressed distress over Trump’s potential effect on the economy, health care, unionization efforts and the rights of minority groups to more than 300 area residents at the Brian Coyle Center in Cedar-Riverside Saturday afternoon, calling on the audience to continue engaging in protest and discussion over the election results.
Ryan Timlin, a Metro Transit bus driver and union advocate, said he feels Trump is against working class Americans.
“He is expression of capitalism at its worst form.” Timlin said, adding that he feels unions contribute to democracy in the workplace.
Others, like Nestor Garcia, a member of Socialist Alternative MN who identified himself as Mexican, said he feels Trump attacked his Latino identity and the identities of women, Muslims and the disabled.
“We need to stand up to this man who stands for sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and racism,” he said. “Who will pass policies that align with his hatred.”
Audience members said they’re worried that organizations in the Twin Cities which resist Trump aren’t working together, weakening their efforts.
“We need a clearing house where all of these groups can come together,” one attendee said.
Jane Franklin, an executive accounts specialist at the University of Minnesota, said she fears Trump’s proposed health care plan would strip many of their benefits, but thinks lobbying together left-leaning democrats could help preserve those policies.
The event’s organizer, Ginger Jentzen, called on the audience to continue protesting Trump and promised walkouts leading up to his inauguration.
To Robin Wonsley, a member of Black Lives Matter, protests are a vetted tool for helping grant people of color equal rights.
“It is a tool that we are going to have to further sharpen and utilize in these upcoming years under Trump’s administration,” she said.
Socialist Alternative MN will lead a student walkout in resistance to Trump and demanding a $15 per hour minimum wage on Nov. 29 outside Coffman Memorial Union. It will also lead a student walkout and citywide protest in Minneapolis on Jan. 20, the day of Trump’s inauguration.