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Loop rally focuses on rights of LGBTs, women
by Vern Hester

As promised at the Trump/Pence Protest Rally held at the Kluczynski Federal Plaza on Nov. 4, Refuse Fascism held a follow-up rally to protest the current administration's stance on LGBTQ and women's rights on Nov. 8 at The DePaul Center at State Street and Jackson Boulevard.

As part of an initiative that includes daily protest rallies in 24 cities, Refuse Fascism's aim is to shed light on the administration's low-key attacks on human rights and to educate and involve as many people as possible to call for the impeachment of this administration.

While protesters chanted, "No p—-y grabbing, no patriarchy, no fascist U.S.A.," Refuse Fascism's Lucha Bright spoke at length about the purpose of the rally. "America was founded on slavery and genocide. People have been walking around with buttons saying, 'Not My President.' We need to change that to 'Not THE President.' You saw Charlottesville. We have a president who spends his time calling Black athletes 'sons of bitches' while being soft on white supremacists and calling them 'fine people' while his supporters say slavery was reasonable and necessary. This man jokes about the LGBTQ community by saying, 'Don't tell Pence ( about LGBTQ Rights ), he wants to hang them all ( in reference to a comment Trump made to a legal scholar as reported in a story published in the New Yorker by Jane Mayer ).'And they want us to think this is 'normal?"

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The Two Spirit Society's Reginald Sawyer spoke about the Trump's administration's attacks on healthcare and, specifically, access to HIV medications for the LGBTQ community as well as lower income individuals and at-risk segments of the population. He sadid, "We've seen how Trump and Pence keep promising to keep the Obama protections intact while they keep hacking away at HIV funding, and they expect us to keep quiet and not protest. Let me tell you something Mr. President, we are not going back in the closet for you..."

Bright also commented on attacks on women's rights saying, "We have a sexual predator in the white house who thinks its fine to molest women. We have a vice president who says he will not be alone with a woman unless his wife is present and that should tell you something. This administration sees women as property and to breed children and nothing more."

Nina Thorne—who, along with Tricey Morelli, wore costumes referencing Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale—said, "If they care so f*cking much about babies you'd think they'd give out condoms or promote birth control. This administration has attacked a woman's right to her own body and taken away her options for choosing by making abortion a criminal offense."

Protester Madge Parsons added, "This whole country is an exploding sewer of misogny and racism and it is headed up at the top by a man who grabs women by the genitals and brags about it. In the wake of this, look at what has happened—a virtual flood of sexual allegations that have been going on for decades ( in reference to recent sexual misconduct charges being made against politician Roy Moore, comedian C.K. Louis, actor Kevin Spacey and film studio head Harvey Weinstein, among others ).

African-American college student Averi Bryant, who was walking from class with her friends, stated, "I'm 21, I'm seen as a fetish. Almost every white male I speak to talks down to me as if I am too stupid to understand, and it's insulting. People are still blaming women for being raped and this kind of thinking has to stop."

Bright later said, "Last Saturday [at the Nov. 4 Rally and March], 4,000 people in 24 cities took to the streets and started a movement to drive this regime out. We have a window of opportunity here because this administration hasn't been able to lock down all the laws that they are trying to push. Even the right to protest publicly and use our First Amendment rights is under attack and it will be illegal to speak out."

Refuse Fascism will continue to daily protest rallies with a larger event planned for Saturday, Nov. 18, titled "Bring the Noise" at The Thompson Center at 2 p.m. For further information, go to RefuseFascism.org.

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