The Post-Marches and -Rallies era: Trump protests get creative


October 26, 2017

In the era of social media and 24/7 news coverage, people tend to get creative. Almost a year after Donald Trump became the President of the United States of America, we have seen a unprecedented amount of anti-Trump protests, in the U.S. as well as in other parts of the world. The January 2017 Women’s March, (which was not exclusively but definitely) aimed at the Trump-administration, might have even been the largest protest in U.S. history.

But marches and major rallies of the kind of proportions as the Women’s March are not an easy thing to pull off. How can the agitated individual, make his or her contribution? Although their impact might not be as big, many small, creative initiatives can be an outcome for those who are willing to act, now. Almost a year after Trump’s inauguration, the storm of ignorance and negativity has not stopped causing stupefaction yet. With ammunition provided to them by their own President on a daily basis, people get creative. A brief anthology:

On October 6, a small group of protesters neared the Washington Monument. At a spot with a good sight line to the White House, they set up a 160-square-foot video screen, hooked it to a laptop and hit play. What ran on the screen for the next 12 hours was a relentless rewind of Donald Trump’s infamous “Access Hollywood” tape.” Three minutes of vulgar chatter by the U.S. President, (“Grab them by the p—y. You can do anything.”) looped over and over through the day, within view of that same guys new office. Dozens of onlookers posted their own videos of the video, a brainchild of protestgroup UltraViolet, with the White House in the background, causing countless mentions in the mainstream news media and on social media.

The Washington Trump International hotel has functioned as a second White House for creative protesters, one without fences and security agents. D.C. based artist Robin Bell has projected provoking slogans onto the building, including “Pay Trump bribes here” and “The president of the United States is a known racist and a Nazi sympathizer.” Washington marchers have made it a proper tradition to dump their protest signs at the hotel after a rally.

“This is Washington protest in the age of Trump, when public actions increasingly combine performance art and catchy visuals to toss a made-to-go-viral insult straight at the president. It is trolling as dissent,” according to Steve Hendrix and Perry Stein for the Washington Post.

Finally, the newest form of protesting the Trump-administration: Screaming helplessly at the sky! What started with a Boston based event organized via Facebook, has snowballed into a national movement of people wailing into the void, with similar events all over the United States. Productive? Maybe not, but for a lot of people, it is an expression which is as close as one can get to their current feelings of frustration.

“Listen, there’s a lot of shit I care about […] But frankly, I can’t keep up with it all. Every time I think of the laundry list of social injustices on top of my own shit like my actual laundry I get overwhelmed. Every news notification on my phone is a reminder of something over which I am powerless. And I think a lot of people feel that way. So fuck me for thinking it’d be nice to yell about it,” according to New York organizer Nathan Wahl.

Read the full Washington Post article on creative protests here, or (if WP puts you in front of a paywall) check the article via this link. Read more about the screaming-protests right here. Based in New York and want to join for some screaming? Check the Facebook-event here.

Photograph: Still of a video by Robin Bell – Twitter/bellvisuals