Threats to the environment, immigration raids, attacks on Planned Parenthood. The Muslim ban, attacks on people of color and LGBTQ. Businesses in Eugene targeted with Nazi graffiti. Locally and across the nation, the Trump administration’s first 100 days have been marked with anger and dissent.
In response, the General Strike Against Trump, aka the F17 strike, is planned for Friday, Feb. 17, in Eugene and nationally. Local organizers are working on a rally and a march to coordinate with the strike as well as a local divestment rally asking banks and business to stop supporting the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).
Ginger, who says she prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation from fascists, says that the Eugene F17 rally as part of the strike will kick off 11 am at the downtown Park Blocks and be followed by a march on a yet-to-be-disclosed route. That evening organizers will host a general assembly with another assembly Saturday morning after a “24-hour occupation with people occupying public space.”
The general assemblies will address organizing and how to resist as a community, she says, adding that to keep organizing in the community it’s going to take broad left unity, not just a small group.
Ginger says she attended a “Not in Our City” rally against recent hate attacks in Washington-Jefferson Park on Feb. 12, and people she describes as fascists yelled at the crowd and sieg heiled. “They were trying to make people feel unwelcome,” she says, and targeting people of color and queer and trans people.
The Eugene F17 general strike rally will prioritize people with marginalized identities, Ginger says, making the most room for “queer and transgender and people of color — people who stand to lose the most.”
According to the national General Strike Against Trump Facebook page, the goal of the strike is to say no to attacks on: marginalized communities, the sovereignty of indigenous peoples, constructive critics within and outside government, constitutionally guaranteed rights, the environment, working families and public education.
The nationwide strike is being organized by Strike4Democracy, an umbrella for coordinated national actions, which says is it also working with organizers of the Women’s March. The strike asks people to occupy a public space or take part in a day of service or be part of a teach-in instead of working. Or if that is not possible — participate and disrupt during the lunch hour. It suggest participants not purchase anything and to use social media and hashtags like #BreakLunch, #GeneralStrike and #F17 to show their support of democracy.
Also on Feb. 17, the SoJust Collective and the UO’s Radical Activist Organizing Resource (ROAR) Center will be holding an “Anti-Pipeline Divestment Protest” 4 pm at the Lane County Courthouse, 125 E. 8th Ave. After the rally at the county courthouse, participants will march to local banks.
Organizers say they are asking people in Eugene to divest from banks that support fossil fuel pipelines and to put pressure on these banks to divest from pipelines. The banks being asked to divest include Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank, Bank of America and U.S. Bank. Currently the DAPL, which has been vigorously protested for months by the Standing Rock Tribe and its supporters, is being pushed forward by the Trump administration.
Web update: The planned 24-occupation has been cancelled, however the general strike is still on.
More information on the General Strike Against Trump can be found on strike4democracy.com. For the local protest, search F17 Eugene on Facebook. For more on the DAPL divestment protest, search Anti-Pipeline Divestment Protest on Facebook.