TrumpWatch: More protests break out as Trump's polls slump

Pro-choice demonstrators rally in Detroit, Michigan, February 11.
February 13, 2017

Huge pro-choice counter-protests overwhelm 'Defund Planned Parenthood' actions

Anti-abortion groups called for 'Defund Planned Parenthood' demonstrations at more than 200 Planned Parenthood locations throughout the United States on February 11 to pressure President Donald Trump to strip the women's health provider of federal funding.

Then, Common Dreams reported, Planned Parenthood supporters got organized. The response was massive: Hundreds of different counter-demonstrations, large, small and in between, were held across the country on Februrary 11 -- overwhelming the anti-choice rallies. In St. Paul, Minnesota, for instance, a police commander on scene estimated the original protesters numbered about 500 while the counter-protesters numbered about 5,000 to 5,500. Similar reports are coming in from all around the country.

80,000 march in Raleigh for voting rights, Democracy

Outrage over the Trump administration helped bring tens of thousands of marchers to downtown Raleigh, North Carolina on February 11, Common Dreams said. The march was motivated by the polices Trump plans to enact with the Republican-led Congress on immigration, health care and civil rights .

Reverand William Barber, president of the state NAACP branch and leader of the “Moral Monday” movement, said in a speech: “A racist and greedy extremism that came to power in North Carolina four years ago now controls the White House and the Congress in D.C. Millions are afraid.  A loud majority is outraged and the whole world is in turmoil asking what can we do. Well, we know we’ve got a hard fight ahead, but we know how to win.”

Pepole take to the strees in Los Angeles to resist deportations

Protesters took to the streets in Los Angeles on February 9 after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reportedly raided homes and communities around the city and detained over 100 people in a mere three hours.

Reflecting the growing community-level resistance to President Donald Trump's immigration crackdown, protesters chanted "not one more deportation!" in front of an ICE detention center and later formed a human chain in the street. Local immigrant advocacy groups say the volume of reports of detentions they received is unusual and frightening, and a part of Trump's harsh crackdown on immigrants' rights. "This is the kind of situation we feared would happen, and here it is," said Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA).

Protests as Arizona residents targeted by Trump order

Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, a decades-long resident of Phoenix, Arizona and mother of two, was arrested and hauled away in a deportation van on February 8 in one of the first deportations of an undocumented immigrant with no violent record to occur under Trump's anti-immigrant executive order.

Common Dreams said the next day that Rayos’ sudden arrest provoked outrage from local community members and rights advocates. Protesters, including Rayos’ two children, pleaded with federal agents to let Rayos go and surrounded the van to stop it from leaving. One person tied themselves to a wheel of the vehicle. Police ultimately removed the protester, arrested six people, and drove away. Rayos’ family confirmed that she was deported to Nogales, Mexico, on February 9.

20 rabbis arrested protesting Trump’s Muslim ban

More than 200 Jewish New Yorkers marched on the Trump International Hotel and Tower to protest Trump’s immigration ban, which bans travel into the United States from seven majority-Muslim nations, US Uncut said on February 7.

About 20 of the rabbis chose to get arrested by peacefully blocking the streets in what they said was a symbolic action.

“We remember our history, and we remember that the borders of this country closed to us in 1924 with very catastrophic consequences during the Holocaust,” said Rabbi Jacobs, whose group T’ruah organised the protest. “We know that some of the language that’s being used now to stop Muslims from coming in is the same language that was used to stop Jewish refugees from coming.”

New York school students walk out to protest Trump, DeVos

Hundreds of New York public school students walked out of class on February 7 to protest the policies of Trump, Democracy Now! said the next day. The protest took place on the same day the Senate confirmed billionaire Betsy DeVos, a strong supporter of privatising public education, for education secretary. It came after a historic tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence.

Hebh Jamal, a 17-year-old student, told protesters about their decision to walk out of their classrooms: “For many of us, this comes at a considerable risk. We have done this today because we realize that these are not normal times. We cannot go to school, to class, to our exams, as if things were normal…

“We want to show people that, actually, we are students who demand justice, and we are going to fight and pressure those in power at every single level to get that.”

Protesters block Devos plan to visit first pubic school as education secretary

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ plans to visit Jefferson Middle School in Washington, DC were quickly scuttled by protesters, US Uncut said.

DeVos, who was confirmed to head the U.S. Department of Education earlier this week — thanks to an unprecedented tiebreaker vote cast by Vice President Mike Pence — was seen in an ABC News video quickly making her exit from Jefferson Middle School on Friday when confronted by protesters. “Go back! Shame! Shame! Shame!” the protester yelled as DeVos was escorted into the backseat of a car by staff.

Trump replaces Obama as climate villain in landmark youth suit

Youth plaintiffs in the US who are suing the federal government for failing to act on climate change have a new villain in their cross-hairs: US President Donald Trump. The 21 plaintiffs in Juliana v. United States filed a notice in federal court on February 9 amending their landmark suit to substitute Trump for former president Barack Obama, Common Dreams said.

In the case, which is slated to reach trial inthe coming months, the plaintiffs say that by failing to act on climate change, the US government has violated the youngest generation's constitutional rights and their rights to vital public trust resources.

The original complaint alleges that the government locked in a fossil-fuel based national energy system for more than five decades with full knowledge of the extreme dangers it posed. Now, explains Our Children's Trust, the non-profit supporting the legal action, "the plaintiffs have been further emboldened by President Trump's blatant climate denialism, inspiring them in their fight to secure climate justice and a safe future."

Trump support collapses as disapproval rate and support for impeachment soar

Two new polls reflect poorly on President Donald Trump's brief tenure in the Oval Office, Common Dreams said. The Gallup poll released on February 10 finds Americans believe the world at-large sees the US more unfavorably (57%) than favorably (42%) — the worst assessment of the country's image in almost 10 years. "The 42% favorable rating is one of the lowest since Gallup began asking this question in 2000 and may be attributable to the election of Trump, whose sometimes controversial statements and actions have rankled several world leaders," the polling outfit wrote.

Meanwhile, a Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey also released Friday finds that Trump's popularity as president has "declined precipitously just over the last two weeks". The first PPP poll of Trump's presidency in late January found voters were evenly divided on Trump, with 44% approving of him and 44% disapproving. Now, his approval rating is 43%, while his disapproval has gone all the way up to 53%. 

What's more, the poll shows 46% in favor of impeaching Trump and 46 percent opposed. According to PPP, "Support for impeaching Trump has crept up from 35 percent two weeks ago, to 40 percent last week, to its 46 percent standing this week."