OAKLAND — Inauguration day united different East Bay youth and community groups to march for local and national issues and rally against President Donald Trump at Oscar Grant Plaza here on Jan. 20.
DisruptJ20, a group focused on disrupting the inauguration, led hundreds of marchers from the UC Berkeley campus to the Oakland City Hall amphitheater.
Organizer John Anthony said, “We are hoping to establish an effective network that can fight back against the Trump administration. We (DisruptJ20) are fighting to protect each other against racist attacks and make campuses racism free.”
DisruptJ20 is a network comprised of hundreds of high school students, college students and union workers.
They arrived at the end of the march at an open microphone that was set up by youth community members.
By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) organizer Tania Tapner said, “There is a lot of anger and determination to organize. He (Trump) is planning executive actions and making attacks soon.
“Some of the things he (Trump) is going to try, I just think no. It will be too much and people are going to be prepared to fight. We are going to need campus shutdowns, strikes and city wide protests like today to keep going when he makes those attacks to push back and win. But we need some demands and organization to win,” she said.
“People are not going to wait another four years for politicians, who are why were in this situation in the first place.”
Tapner said, “In terms of our public schools being attacked, union rights being attacked and with ICE coming into our communities, I think we can make a situation where Trump can’t get away with a lot of what he wants nationally if California really fights and leads the way.”
California is the most populous state in the U.S. With one in every eight people in the U.S living in California, the state has the world’s sixth-largest economy, beating countries like France and Brazil in 2016.
Tapner said, “We have a huge leadership role in the nation. It makes all the difference for us to build a movement in California because we can help empower the rest of the nation to protest elsewhere and fight Trump. It is going to be really no business as usual until he (Trump) is out.”
Skyline High school senior Yolanda Perez said, “It was unorganized, but everyone knew to come to the front of the City Hall to fight for their rights.”
“Everyone has their rights and everyone needs to fight for them. Even if they are scared to raise their voices, everyone here deserves to be valued and heard. Brown is the color of my skin and many have said we are going to be deported but that can’t be a fear,” she said.
Perez said, “What we (Oakland youth) want to be is united. It does not matter that he (Trump) is trying to infuse hate, which is not what we want. Your color doesn’t matter. Where you come from doesn’t matter.”
The plaza was filled with marchers dancing and singing and even beating and burning a piñata of Donald Trump.
Marches rallied through rain until nightfall where another protest with a few hundred people began around 7 p.m.