By Martha Grevatt
July 12, 2016
July 11 — Since launching his racist, violent, hate-filled campaign for U.S. president, Donald Trump has met militant opposition at every turn. The Republican National Convention, taking place in Cleveland July 18-22 and where Trump’s nomination is expected, will be no exception. There will be a week of resistance — starting days before the convention even opens.
People will be coming from all over the country to march on Sunday, July 17. The march theme, “Shut down Trump and the RNC,” should set a fighting tone for the many protests — both planned and spontaneous — that will follow in the next few days. The march will gather at 4 p.m. at 36th and Euclid. (Visit iacenter.org; for Facebook use the bitlink Bit.ly/NoTrumpRNC.) After a short warm-up rally, the demonstrators will step off and march through downtown. Participants will stop outside the Quicken Loans Arena, where the RNC will take place, and then resume the march and reassemble at Willard Park for the main rally.
“We will have speakers representing a wide range of struggles — Black Lives Matter, Palestine and the Right to Return, Indigenous demands to scrap the racist mascot of the Cleveland baseball team, doctors marching a few days later against Islamophobia, justice for migrants, LGBTQ rights, Detroiters fighting foreclosure, and many more,” said Cleveland-based march organizer Susan Schnur. “We encourage people to bring signs and banners representing their own struggle against bigotry, economic injustice, and the capitalist system responsible for both.”
More reason than ever to march against racism
The awful murders of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and at least five others over the past week at the hands of racist, trigger-happy police are reminding people that every manifestation of racism must be challenged. As Lydia Bayoneta, longtime Rochester, N.Y., activist and Workers World Party organizer explained, “The racist onslaught of police terror in the United States is part of a worldwide mobilization of racist, Islamophobic, anti-immigrant and reactionary forces. In Cleveland, the eyes of the world will be focused not only on the reactionary forces, but also on the growing resistance within the U.S to racist police terror and all forms of oppression.”
The march has the wholehearted support of Steelworkers Local 8751, the Boston School Bus Drivers Union. ”The union, for almost half a year, has been discussing, at well-attended membership meetings, the national political scene,” explained Financial Secretary Steve Gillis.
“For Local 8751, with over 900 members, more than 90 percent immigrants, it’s been very clear. The local has made resolutions and joined picket lines and street demonstrations to fight the overt racism, Islamophobia and anti-immigrant bashing that is the Trump campaign. In May and June, Local 8751 voted to endorse and support, with resources, union members and members of the Boston community who want to join with the thousands of people who will be protesting both the Republican and Democratic national conventions. We walk the talk when it comes to union solidarity.”
Many protesters, including the Boston bus drivers, will not stop with opposing the RNC; they will be back in the streets of Philadelphia a week later opposing the Democratic National Convention. As Gillis stated: “For hundreds of our members who were born in Haiti, the Clinton campaign has brought up much anger over the Clinton Foundation’s failure to rebuild housing and infrastructure after the 2010 earthquake, while taking in hundreds of millions of dollars. At every conversation, it is raised that Hillary Clinton’s brother has received a 50-year contract for the profits of the largest gold mine in Haiti.
“The drivers in March voted unanimously to endorse the presidential campaign of Monica Moorehead and Lamont Lilly as reflecting their priorities of better jobs, housing and health care for the drivers’ families and their communities.”
Teresa Gutierrez, the Moorehead-Lilly campaign coordinator, will be speaking on Monday, July 18, at 6 p.m. at the Black on Black Center, 15415 Kipling Ave. in Cleveland.