Incoming president Donald Trump’s vilification of those who speak critically of him is alarming some progressive groups. Activists have planned a week of local poetry readings, marches and other protests related to Friday’s D.C. inauguration.
Tallahassee progressive groups are preparing a preemptive strike in opposition to policies they worry will target minorities and immigrants.
Students for a Democratic Society at Florida State University are planning a massive walkout of class Friday. SDS member Zachary Schultz said the group is rallying fellow students for future political battles over issues they disagree with.
“We’re not willing to just give Donald Trump a chance," he said. "We know that his plan to build a wall, to deport millions of people, to institute racist bans on immigration are things that we cannot stand for.”
Groups have also scheduled poetry readings for Wednesday and Friday nights. It may be hard to see how local poetry nights or marches change the political realities. But Tallahassee poet Sandra Simonds said artists like her can’t remain silent while more authoritarian countries jail artists and journalists for their political speech and she fears the incoming Trump administration will use similar tactics.
“There is an opposition and that we’re united is a really important step that I think a lot of people take for granted in that art and poetry have a place in that," she said. "Poems can really get to the heart of what’s happening and really get people motivated to organize.”
Meanwhile a women’s march and rally at the state capitol is set for Saturday. A large national women's march is also planned for Saturday in D.C.