On Nov. 20, roughly 300 people packed All People’s Church on Milwaukee’s north side to attend the first public meeting of the Milwaukee Coalition Against Trump (MCAT). The Coalition’s mission is to “build a broad and organized resistance led by a coalition of grassroots organizations to Stop Trump and his hateful agenda.”
The Coalition was founded by five organizations that have been leading the resistance to Trump in Milwaukee since his election – the Young People’s Resistance Committee (formerly Youth Empowered in the Struggle), Students for a Democratic Society, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Students for Justice in Palestine, and the United Workers Organization.
Energy was high throughout the night. Isa Cortes from the Young People’s Resistance Committee spoke on what brought everyone to the room — the election of Trump and the 3500-strong march led by the coalition the previous week. She also discussed how this work did not begin on election night: “What’s crazy is that exactly a year ago [on November 10, 2015], some of the same organizations organized an action outside of the GOP debate where we rallied against Trump’s hateful rhetoric and showed him that he is not welcome in our city. Never did we think that exactly one year later we would be rallying against the openly racist, sexist, fascist, xenophobic man the electoral college declared our president.”
Judy Kattan of SJP walked everyone through MCAT’s mission statement and points of unity, which are based on the Saint Paul Principles of the 2008 RNC demonstrations. She opened the doors for others to get involved, saying, “If you organization would like to join the coalition, please bring up our platform and our points of unity with your members, discuss and debate, and let us know. United together, with respect and love for all of our people, we can win.”
Sean Orr of FRSO, the emcee for the night, announced the coalition’s goal – to plan 100 days of resistance to the Trump agenda during the first 100 days of his presidency, starting off with a mass march in downtown Milwaukee on inauguration day, Jan. 20. The coalition then led a number of breakout groups to brainstorm events and activities for these 100 days. The breakout groups came back together, and the creativity and commitment coming through in the report backs continued to drive the high energy of the night.
Orr closed the evening with a call for people to be in this for the long haul, “If we are serious when we say that Trump is not our president, that we will not sit down and allow his administration to wage campaigns of terror on women, workers, Muslims and immigrants, then we must be willing to make this country ungovernable. For the sake of our planet and all oppressed peoples in it, we must do everything we can to drown the Trump administration.” The evening ended in a standing ovation and a chant of “The people, united, will never be defeated!”
A link to the Milwaukee Coalition Against Trump’s inauguration day march can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/974219202684309/