Thousands Protest Trump in Phoenix—Police Attack with Tear Gas

August 23, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

As Donald Trump ranted at his fascist rally in Phoenix, Arizona, on Tuesday, August 22, thousands of people rallied to denounce him. There were various groups that called for protesting Trump. And there were many who felt compelled to come out—like a Latino man who told the Los Angeles Times, “I don’t want to regret not speaking up. It’s one thing to complain with friends…. I wanted to show up and speak up.” Another protester, a white man in his 60s, said, “I used to protest in the 1970s and 1980s, but I took a little time off. Now it’s time to get back in the game.”

There were several marches downtown earlier in the afternoon, in temperatures climbing to 108, that converged on the convention center for the Trump rally in the evening. A “unity vigil and march” was organized by the First Congregational United Church of Christ and included a number of different religious, civil rights, and activist groups. There was a “Never Again: Jews and Allies Against Hate” rally, and a “Protest Trump Arizona” rally was held near the convention center. The Puente Human Rights Movement led a “White Supremacy Will Not Be Pardoned” march to the convention center.

As the protesters converged on the site of the Trump rally, police helicopters hovered overhead and heavily armed police went through the streets and lined up to guard the convention center and the Trump supporters going in. There were also “unofficial” pigs, like “Bikers for Trump” and militia types, brandishing weapons.

The determined protesters were outside the convention center for hours, chanting “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA,” “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Donald Trump has got to go,” and other slogans. People spoke out against Trump’s support for the KKK-Nazi fascists who rallied in Charlottesville, the prospect of Trump pardoning the racist and rabidly anti-immigrant former Phoenix sheriff Joe Arpaio, and other outrages of the Trump/Pence regime.

Then, as the Trump rally was ending, the police suddenly attacked. One protester, a 19-year-old woman, said that people were peacefully protesting when “Police started throwing tear gas and pepper-spray pellets and flash bombs to basically make us run away.” A councilman from the Arizona city of Tempe said that he was nearby handing out water bottles to people when he heard a “pop” of tear gas canister or pepper ball, and “then people started running.”

In a statement the day after, Carlos Garcia of Puente Human Rights Movement Arizona, said, in part: “After refusing to condemn white supremacists in Charlottesville last weekend, Trump came to Phoenix to rally them. His nod to Arpaio is the latest sign of the white supremacy that is governing the White House and it will not be pardoned. There is no negotiating with his hate agenda. There is only resisting it.”

It was righteous that thousands came out in Phoenix to oppose Trump—he and Pence and the rest of the fascist regime need to be met by strong, determined protests wherever they go. These protests need to grow in numbers and strength—and they need to be part of bringing this urgent fight to a whole new level with people acting together in nationwide actions starting November 4 and not stopping until the demand is met: This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Fascist Regime Must GO!

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