THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK

OFFICE OF COUNCIL MEMBER 

JUMAANE D. WILLIAMS

Contact: Vania Andre
vandre@council.nyc.gov, 917-608-8784

Jan. 20, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

ELECTED OFFICIALS, ADVOCATES AND CLERGY TAKE PART IN TRUMP INAUGURATION CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE PROTEST

 
Williams, Menchaca, Alcantara, Foy & Monrose Send Message To New Administration During Trump’s Inauguration
Council Member Jumaane D. Williams and Senator Marisol Alcantara getting arrested for civil disobedience.  Photo Credit: Keith Dawson, NYC Council 
 
 
NEW YORK, NY : On Jan. 20, elected officials, advocates, community members and clergy were arrested for civil disobedience outside of Trump Tower following a press conference and rally protesting President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
Among those arrested were  Council Member Jumaane D. Williams , Deputy Leader;  Council Member Carlos Menchaca;   New York State Senator Marisol Alcantara;  Kirsten Foy of the  National Action Network;  Pastor Gilford Monrose, Founding President of  the 67th Precinct Clergy Council; and community members, including Council Member Williams’ mother, Patricia Williams, and Margalit Ewart.
After the press conference, the Council Members, Senator, and advocates walked to the corner of Trump Tower on 56th Street and Fifth Ave and proceeded to obstruct traffic by sitting down on Fifth Avenue, which led to their arrest.
“Today we showed the best of America,” Council Member Williams said. For the past two years we’ve been bombarded by divisive messages that were unfortunately embraced by so many, and the resulting election showed us the worst of America.
“I am a believer in nonviolent resistance, but we have to  disrupt a structure that is unjust. We must resist from day one. We’re fighting for everyone, even those who don’t understand what they’ve done by voting for Trump. We are going to continue moving forward because we know we are on the right side of history.”
The theme of the rally was “resist from day one” — resisting Trump’s proposals, which are based in bigotry, xenophobia and fear. The goal of the rally was to voice opposition against the following:
  • Trump’s Cabinet nominees
  • Removing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare – removing millions from insurance and women’s access to healthcare)
  • Immigration policies (Muslim ban and registry, Mexico border wall, deportations)
  • Criminal justice policy (spreading the abuses of Stop, Question, and Frisk across the country)
(L-R) Senator Marisol Alcantara, Pastor Gilford Monrose, Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, Council Member Carlos Menchaca, Kirsten Foy Photo Credit: Chris Cobb
“Through its rhetoric, policies, and appointments, the incoming Trump Administration has made clear that it intends to further enshrine racism, sexism, and plutocracy in our government and society,” said Senator Alcantara. “Mr. Trump and those who enable him are a grave threat not just to our democratic traditions, but also to our American values of religious toleration and openness to immigration. As an Afro-Latina immigrant, I hope that my action inspires others to voice and embody their opposition to Trump instead of giving into fear and division.
“Successful resistance movements rely not just on voting, but also on techniques such as civil disobedience, boycotts, and strikes. The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. understood the power of such techniques to hold our leaders accountable, and if Mr. Trump carries out the policies he campaigned on, it is up to the American people to show our opposition through such methods.”
” My arrest on Fifth Avenue today is the start of my daily resistance to the Trump administration’s abhorrent intentions. We must stay unified, speak the truth, and take every opportunity to uphold American values including peaceful protest. In the coming days there will be many marches and rallies,” added Council Member Menchaca. ” If you can participate, I applaud you. If you can’t, then find your own ways to get informed and to take positive actions for yourself, your community, and your nation.”
President Donald Trump has proposed policies in the areas of criminal justice, healthcare, and immigration that has raised red  flags for many.
During his campaign he said he would impose a nationwide Stop, Question and Frisk policy and erroneously cited its success in New York.  On the immigration front, he’s spoken in favor for a Muslim ban /registry and building a wall to keep out illegal immigrants from Mexico. In regard to healthcare, under the President’s plan to remove the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans would lose healthcare and women’s reproductive rights would be threatened.
There was a  simultaneous act of solidarity in Manchester, England supported by Councilor Beth Knowles, and coordinated by Nahella Ashraf, Chair of Stand Up To Racism Manchester.
Ashraf and her organization coordinated a wide range of civil society groups, trade unions, local politicians and members of the European Parliament, to attend and speak at the Stand Up To Trump protest in central Manchester on Friday.
“As Stand up to Racism, we are proud to be organizing the ‘Stand up to Trump’ mobilization here in Manchester, as part of a national day of action with over 50 events taking place across the UK to mark the Inauguration of President Trump,” Ashraf said. “The election of Donald Trump is deeply disturbing and a stark warning to us all. Trump’s election is encouraging and legitimizing a backlash against women’s and LGBT+ rights.  But the outcome is far from settled. It entirely depends on how we – at home and abroad – react. Our values of respect and cooperation represent the views of millions.
(L-R) Patricia Williams, Margalit Ewart, Kirsten Foy, Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, Council Member Carlos Menchaca, Pastor Gilford Monrose 
Photo Credit: Keith Dawson, NYC Council
“Time is short. We cannot allow racism to seep deeper into society and, whatever our differences, we must unite together to meet this serious threat. We proudly stand with our brothers and sisters in the US in their fight against the hate and bigotry of Donald Trump.”
“On Monday we celebrated the life and sacrifice of a man who dedicated himself to tearing walls down, and today America is ushering in an era with a president who wants to build walls up. ” said Foy, NE Regional VP of National Action Network. “We have a president that wants to build walls around the nation, a president that wants to build walls between communities. We are here to say we are here to keep Dr. King’s dream alive and not to let Trump resurrect hate. Trump’s vision is not a vision for the future.
“He wants to turn the clock back 60 years on voting rights. He wants to turn back the clock 60 years on women’s rights. He wants to turn the clock back 100 years on race relations and immigrants’ rights,” Foy said. “We will not allow America to move back, but instead force her to move forward. Resisting from day one is our mandate, and our divine calling and purpose in today’s era. We’re not going to allow Donald Trump to redefine America away from her promise.”
“I stand today to resist because I think that out of my biblical framework out of my faith, it would be unfaithful not to resist,” said Pastor Monrose. “Out of our religious conviction, we should be standing up against the things we believe are going against our moral fabric. And so, we’re standing together, and we’re giving peace a chance. We are coming with our voices to make our America great again. We need to let Donald Trump know that we are standing on the resistance of today, and will continue this fight until we get justice in America.”