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Mar 25, 17

Providence, RI: #DisruptMAGA Report Back

At Providence City Hall on the morning of March 25, a few dozen protestors took the front steps with pots, pans, and plastic buckets and made noise well before the Trump crowd could gather, and when the Trump supporters arrived, they had nowhere to stand but the sidewalk to begin their march. We greeted them with our chants, drums, megaphones, and air horns, and the police made no effort to clear the area so they could begin their rally. Some Trump supporters, possibly the Three Percenters, attempted to regain control of the front steps with some pushing and shoving but were unsuccessful. The loud, raucous crowd that faced off against the Trump supporters could not be moved and could not be silenced.

When the Trump folks began their march, their numbers were fewer than expected, and the counter-protesters followed and our numbers grew into the hundreds as other groups joined in along the way, banging on drums and buckets and cookware all the way to the State House. The cops formed a line between the Trump folks and the counter-protesters at the State House steps, where a marching band joined our ranks, adding trumpets, trombones, and a tuba to our arsenal. We completely surrounded them, and while their pathetic rally technically happened, nobody could hear a word of what they had to say, and half of their own audience was more interested in facing off against us than paying attention to their own rally. Some of the Trump rally speakers were visibly frustrated at the level of noise, and they rotated between a few different megaphones and a tiny PA system in attempts to speak over the cacophony, but to no avail.

Some Trump supporters attempted to stir up a fight, and while there was some pushing and shoving, nothing of consequence happened and the police simply stood between opposing sides—no riot gear, just stern faces and crossed arms, but nobody was harassed or arrested. Approximately an hour later, well short of their projected schedule, the Trump folks dwindled in numbers, leaving only their most hardcore supporters to continue to face off with us in a duel of noise, but we had won the day. A platform for hate speech—one where the speakers were expected to rail against the sanctuary city status of Providence and demand the deportation of our friends and family and neighbors—was disrupted successfully.

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