Protestors: ‘Donald Trump has got to go’

Chicago was one of many cities throughout the nation that drew protests on President’s Day Feb. 20

By Eric Bradach

Though normally used to celebrate the inauguration of the new president, many Chicagoans and out-of-state visitors gathered in the Loop on President’s Day,Feb. 20, to voice their discontent and frustration over President Donald Trump.

In a peaceful but passionate demonstration that matched several similar planned protests nationwide, the crowd was heavily diverse with women, men and children with various ethnicities and backgrounds but were all united with a common voice.

Jasmin Meisinger, a local stay-at-home mom and self-described socialist, was one of approximately 200 protesters who met at the intersection of Wacker Drive and Wabash Avenue, near Trump Tower at around 1 p.m. She said she wanted to have her voice and dissatisfaction with neoliberalism heard.

Meisinger said the country should take a new direction under socialism because it is more egalitarian, fair to the underprivileged and responsive to the planet’s limited natural resources. Trump’s policies toward the environment are destructive and the recently confirmed head the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt furthers that rhetoric, she added.

Trump has been vocal against the media—recently in particular—she added, because he sees them as a threat, and his ties to Russia have become “incontrovertible.”

“There’s no way [Trump] can continue to deny [his ties to Russia], he’s just scared,” Meisinger said. “[Trump] still has support from his base somehow and they are not listening to any of the real news. He is trying to make that look bad so his ‘fake news’ looks good.”

Melanie Goldberg, a menswear stylist who lives in the Loop, echoed Meisinger’s concerns and said Trump’s attacks toward the media is an “erosion of our democracy.”

Holding a sign that said, “I believe in a free press. It is not my enemy,” Goldberg said the president does not value truth. It is important for Americans to express their views and it is uplifting to see others do so, she added.

Goldberg said the recent controversy and resignation of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn should lead to an independent and bipartisan investigation. It should not only look into Flynn but the entire Trump administration because, as Goldberg added, “I suspect there’s a lot more to be uncovered.”

She applauded the people who leaked the information and said they are probably motivated to benefit the nation.

“I’m not sure whether they should be punished,” she said. “[However], at this point, I’m glad we’re getting this information.”

Others at the demonstration were holding signs that said, “Not my ‘so called’ President’s Day,” “We refuse to accept a fascist America,” and were chanting, “Donald Trump has got to go.”

Wesley Walker, from Jacksonville, Florida, and founder of Immigrants Guide to Freedom Network—a nonprofit charity group that provides legal resources for undocumented immigrants—said it is important to provide assistance to undocumented immigrants because Trump has “singled them out.”

Walker said he was glad to see the executive order that banned immigration from seven-majority Muslim nations and refugees halted by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, San Francisco. However, another more detailed one is on the horizon, he added.

“[The Trump administration] is cunning enough to reword the [executive order] where it will stick,” he said. “[They have] waged war on immigrants. This country was founded by immigrants and ran by immigrants.”