Kshama Sawant calls for ‘wall of mass resistance’
Seattle’s socialist city council member is showing no signs of slowing, even after her office was inundated with threats.
Kshama Sawant wrote in CounterPunch, a magazine that is self-described as the “fearless voice of the American left,” that no matter who encourages the idea of giving President-elect Donald Trump a chance, there is “no time to waste” in organizing opposition against the Republican’s promises.
“We must bring together millions of progressive workers and young people to build a wall of mass resistance against Trump,” Sawant wrote in CounterPunch. “And to defend immigrants, women, Muslims, LGBTQ people and all others targeted by his presidency.”
Related: Is it our duty to call for protests?
The council member, who represents District 3, has been a leading force in local anti-Trump protests. That included a large, post-election rally at Seattle City Hall.
Sawant argues that Democratic Party leadership and Hillary Clinton’s campaign “assisted Trump’s ascension to the White House” by failing to reach the young and working-class voters who supported Bernie Sanders. Now, the country has a president-elect who has stated policy goals of deporting millions of immigrants, and is expected to fill his cabinet with far-right leaning people, including the former head of Breitbart News and a retired lieutenant general who said Islam is a “cancer.”
While many across the U.S. have shown their distaste for Trump with public demonstrations that have lead to some arrests, supporters of the president-elect have had no problem with telling the socialist how they feel. As she continues to encourage peaceful public protests — including an Inauguration Day demonstration — Sawant’s office has been flooded with hateful and threatening emails.
In CounterPunch, Sawant explains that in the 10 days after the election, “several thousand” people contacted her office, outraged over the call to protest on Inauguration Day. Many of the people calling and emailing, according to Sawant, are from the middle, working-class.
“My first grim thoughts as I saw some of the horrifying emails was that I will be far from the only person targeted after the dangerous rise of Donald Trump,” Sawant wrote in CounterPunch.
In addition to the threats, an online petition to remove Sawant from office saw its supporters grow.
Like the author of the petition, some people in power are encouraging their constituents to remain optimistic and respect the outcome of the election. President Barack Obama, whose legacy is at risk of being devastated by the election, has yet to publicly worry.
But Sawant has other ideas.
The council member says the movement against Trump needs to be independent of both Democrats and Republicans. To defeat the right, Sawant says supporters will “need to build our own mass party.”
“We have a historic responsibility to fight back against this administration,” she writes.
With that, it looks like Sawant’s battle is far from over.