Friends and colleagues are considering converging on Washington, D.C. to protest the Trumping of America, with corollary protests across the country. What if all the money (and time) spent on travel, lodging, permits, etc. were spent on organizing and funding political action groups and organizations protecting the rights and lives of minorities, those (most of us) under threat from this incoming regime? Is a post-election inaugural protest the most efficient and effective action? Is street protest itself the best form of action? Might it be better to focus on political action and organizing, such as the forthcoming DNC forums (for those who still have some faith in the Demo party), or non-party-based political action? The Clintons will be sitting up on the dais, supporting the “peaceful transition of power.” Why should we be in the streets?
Sixteen years ago, I joined friends going to D.C. to protest George W’s installation as President. One of us was attacked by a cop and thrown to the ground, simply for trying to escape the police pincer, established to keep us far away from the real action of the inaugaration. Several white-hat-wearing Bush supporters, trooping past to see their boy crowned, hooted with appreciation. What did our presence accomplish? We entered eight years of the worst President of my lifetime, and now we will have a minimum of four years of someone who will likely be much worse, something almost unimaginable. Are the tactics of “legal” street protests a distraction and mis-allocation of our resources?