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Tens of Thousands Gather in Resistance on Inauguration Eve

The LGBTQ Rainbow Flag was raised at the rally. | JACKSON CHEN

The LGBTQ Rainbow Flag was raised at the rally. | JACKSON CHEN

BY JACKSON CHEN | A star-studded rally outside Trump International Hotel aimed to ignite a 100-day resistance movement against the 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump.

“We are here united in protecting our family, friends, neighbors, fellow New Yorkers, and people across this great nation during his time in office,” actor Rosie Perez, a Brooklyn native, said at the January 19 event. “Donald Trump is from this city, he is a New Yorker, and yet he has spread a message across the country that is the opposite of who we are as New Yorkers.”

Kicking off the evening, Perez introduced Hollywood icons like Robert De Niro, Mark Ruffalo, Alec Baldwin, and Julianne Moore, alongside Michael Moore, Natalie Merchant, and Cher, all united in standing against a Trump administration.

“We’re all rooting for the new administration to abandon the divisive, racist, misogynist, ignorant plans it’s trumpeting and lead us with intelligence and compassion,” De Niro said.

Defiant signs of No! mixed with American flags. | JACKSON CHEN

Defiant signs of No! mixed with American flags. | JACKSON CHEN

Mayor Bill de Blasio joined the thousands of attendees in cheering the final night of Barack Obama’s administration. As soon as the mayor mentioned the peaceful transition of power taking place the following day in Washington, the crowd was united in booing, but de Blasio emphasized that Trump’s first day in the presidency also would be the first day of action for the many who oppose his plans for the next four years.

“Some people think we’re going to be dejected, some people think we’re going to be in a state of mourning, that we’re just going to shirk away from playing any role in our nation,” the mayor said. “No, tomorrow we begin to organize, tomorrow we gather together, look at the thousands here tonight and this is only the beginning.”

The thousands came from all over New York, with many from Westchester County joining the large number of West Village residents in united resistance to the Trump presidency.

“This isn’t about politics, this is about Donald Trump. Those of us in Manhattan have been used to this for the last 30 years,” Nick Beef, a West Villager said. “It’s a man who talks and has no action… it’s all about him, not our country.”

Coming down from Westchester County, Theo Allen was proud to carry signs protesting the president-to-be.

“This president has decried women, people with disabilities, LGBTQ community members, and has divided us, not united us,” Allen said at the rally. “As a citizen of these United States, I cannot allow us to be a divided nation.”

Filmmaker Michael Moore, one of the rally’s organizers, speaks to the crowd. | JACKSON CHEN

Filmmaker Michael Moore, one of the rally’s organizers, speaks to the crowd. | JACKSON CHEN

One of the main organizers of the rally, the film director and activist Michael Moore, had a stark but also empowering message for the crowd that filled Central Park West.

“First the bad news, as sad as we think it’s going to be, it’s going to be worse,” Moore said. “But here is the good news, the good news is there’s more of us than there are of them!”

Moore noted that the Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, won close to three million more votes than Trump and there were more than seven million others who voted for neither the Republican nor Democratic candidate.

“This is the beginning of our 100 days of resistance, and that’s just the first 100 days,” Moore said. “Every day you have to contact your member of Congress or one of your two senators. It takes three minutes, wake up, brush teeth, make coffee, contact Congress, that’s the new morning routine.”

And many have already begun taking action by organizing the Women’s March on Washington for January 21, starting at 10 a.m., the day following the swearing in of the nation’s new president. In New York City, a similar march (Women’s March on New York City at Facebook) is planned for 10:45 a.m.-5 p.m. at One Dag Hammarskjold Plaza at 48th Street at Second Street.

As the rally concluded with Natalie Merchant leading a celebrity-jammed cover of “This Land is Your Land,” the crowd began moving toward Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, where they were met with a large force of New York Police Department officers and barricades. But, the words of Moore, Ruffalo, and Baldwin fueled the crowd to continue their protest, no matter the restrictions.

The rally aimed to spur 100 days of resistance to the new Trump administration. | JACKSON CHEN

The rally aimed to spur 100 days of resistance to the new Trump administration. | JACKSON CHEN

“Donald Trump and Steve Bannon and Mike Pence and all these people that are part of the Trump administration, they think you’re going to lay down,” Baldwin said to the crowd. “Are you going to lay down?”

The crowd shouted back, “No!”

“Are you going to fight?”

“Yes!”

“Are we going to have 100 days of resistance?”

“Yes!”

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