Cosmopolitan Anti-fascists cast a wide net on its Facebook page earlier in the week for “New Yorkers from different backgrounds” to protest the presidential hopeful, but all it got was different shades of liberalism. Roughly 5,000 people pledged to attend the event, but fewer than 1,000 showed up. Some billed the crowd at no more than “several hundred.”
“We stand against the fascist and xenophobic white supremacy that has been offered to us under the guise of democracy by the current U.S. presidential candidates, most horrifically exemplified by Donald Trump,” the group claimed Friday night. “As New Yorkers we stand together as a broad community representing peoples and cultures, religions, and faiths from Central America to Palestine from South Korea to South Africa. From Muslims, Buddhists, and Sikhs to atheists and agnostics.”
Attendees were asked to bring banners, art and instruments and they did not disappoint.
The crowd chanted slogans like "Racist sexist anti-gay, Donald Trump go away” and “Only difference is the name! Hitler, Trump is the same!” as marchers assembled at Columbus Circle, reported the New York Post.
Once underway, the marchers passed eastward through Central Park, turning south to Fifth Ave. toward Trump Tower between 56th and 57th. The group and its message was more characteristic of Occupy Anarchists than 1960s civil rights or anti-war protests.
Homemade signs blasted Trump's stance on border control, women and even the size of his hands: “Build a Wall Around Trump and Make Him Pay For It,” “Women to Trump: It’s Mutual,” “Put America in Bigger Hands.”
A banner read “No Human Being Is Illegal” in Spanish, English and Arabic.
Despite a strong and visible police presence, protesters were aggressive, shouting "F*** the police!"
The New York Post reported protesters were pepper-sprayed when they tried to breach police barricades keeping them to the sidewalks at Sixth Avenue and 59th Street. Several got into shoving matches with officers. Others broke into anti-cop chants. At least three were arrested for disorderly conduct.
Saturday's protests were not publicly endorsed by groups funded by billionaire George Soros – as others have been – but Cosmopolitan Anti-fascists was able to receive support from local counterparts.
Black and Pink NYC
International Working Women's Day Coalition
Millions March NYC
NYC Shut It Down
NYC Solidarity with Palestine
People's Power Assembly
Queer Detainee Empowerment Project
Revolutionaries Against Gendered Oppression Everywhere, or RAGE
Students for Justice in Palestine
Logistically, Cosmopolitan Anti-fascists' efforts were a sideshow given that Trump was not in or near the 68-story building during the noon protest. The real actions was in Phoenix, Arizona, where the Republican front-runner was campaigning and where protesters blocked the highway leading to his rally. The border state's primary voters will head to the polls March 22.
Activists have accelerated their efforts against Trump in conjunction with his election wins. The billionaire is well positioned to win the 1,237 delegates necessary to win the Republican nomination outright unless Texas Sen. Ted Cruz can stage a come-from-behind victory.
Trump recently canceled a campaign event at the University of Illinois-Chicago Pavilion last Friday over security concerns. Thousands of protesters tested the Chicago Police Department, Chicago Fire Department, the Secret Service and the FBI until the rally was scrapped.
MoveOn.org, which receives funds from billionaire George Soros, took partial credit for shutting down the rally. The group told supporters in an email, “This is what standing up to hate looks like – and it’s a huge win for student and community organizers who knew they were risking their own safety by taking action,” Mediaite reported March 11.
Four people were arrested and two Chicago cops suffered injuries trying to restore order.