More than 20 U.S. lawmakers have now said they will not attend Friday’s inauguration ceremony, while Saturday’s Women’s March continues to gain steam.
“While I do not dispute that Trump won the Electoral College, I cannot normalize his behavior or the disparaging and un-American statements he has made,” Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) said in a statement on Saturday. “For me, the personal decision not to attend Inauguration is quite simple: Do I stand with Donald Trump, or do I stand with John Lewis? I am standing with John Lewis.”
In a statement posted online Sunday morning, Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) declared:
I was planning on attending the Inauguration on Friday out of respect for the office of president, while still making it back home on Saturday to attend the Women’s March in Madison. However, after long consideration based on reading the classified document on Russian hacking and Trump’s candidacy on Thursday, the handling of his conflicts of interest, and this weekend’s offensive tweets about a national hero Rep. John Lewis, I am no longer attending the event. At minimum, it’s time for Donald Trump to start acting like President Trump, not an immature, undignified reality star with questionable friends and a Twitter addiction. I hope for better, but will not hold my breath.
Speaking to Politico, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, suggested there might be similar announcements in the works.
“You can guarantee this will cause people to organize with even greater intensity,” he said of Trump’s attacks on Lewis. “This will make it even more likely that additional members skip the inauguration.”
Many of those who are ditching Friday’s festivities have explicitly stated that they do plan to participate in the Women’s March on Washington happening the following day—or in a solidarity event taking place closer to home.
The march’s organizers this week released a four-page platform (pdf) described as “the definition of intersectional feminism” and “an unapologetically radical, progressive vision for justice in America.” In keeping with the march’s broad agenda, the document does not mention Trump, but honors “the legions of revolutionary leaders who paved the way for us to march,” including Ella Baker, Berta Cáceres, Rachel Carson, Shirley Chisholm, Winona LaDuke, Audre Lorde, Gloria Steinem, and Harriet Tubman.
“Our liberation is bound by each other’s,” its authors write, outlining demands including:
- accountability and justice for police brutality and ending racial profiling and targeting of communities of color;
- dismantling the gender and racial inequities within the criminal justice system;
- reproductive freedom;
- LGBTQIA rights;
- workforce opportunities that reduce discrimination against women and mothers;
- rights, dignity, and fair treatment for all unpaid and paid caregivers;
- a living minimum wage;
- restoring and protecting voting rights;
- ending mass deportation, family detention, violations of due process, and violence against queer and trans migrants; and
- clean water, clean air, and access to and enjoyment of public lands.
“We believe Gender Justice is Racial Justice is Economic Justice,” the document reads. “We must create a society in which women, in particular women—in particular Black women, Native women, poor women, immigrant women, Muslim women, and queer and trans women—are free and able to care for and nurture their families, however they are formed, in safe and healthy environments free from structural impediments.”
There’s a good chance the Women’s March will outdraw Trump’s inauguration—despite the president-elect’s Saturday night claim that his celebration “is turning out to be even bigger than expected.”
The Washington Post reported Thursday that “far more parking permits are being sought for buses for the Women’s March on Washington the day after inauguration than for the inauguration itself,” according to D. C. city council member Charles Allen.
Meanwhile, pink yarn is reportedly flying off the shelves as knitters fashion pink “pussy hats” for Saturday’s demonstration, and Broadway star Jennifer Holliday said this weekend that she would not, in fact, perform at an inaugural event Thursday after outcry from fans.