TrumpWatch: Water protectors vow to fight on; large Not My President Day rallies; Trump drives more Americans to join socialist groups

February 24, 2017
Chanse Zavalla and O'Shea Spencer stand in front of the remains of the protest camp set on fire ahead of the US Army Corp of Engineer's deadline to leave the Oceti Sakowin camp on February 22, in Cannon Ball, North Dakota.

Standing Rock water protectors vow to fight on

As the Army Corps of Engineers forcibly evicted the last of the remaining water protectors from the Oceti Sakowin protest camp at Standing Rock on February 23, indigenous opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) insist their expulsion would not end the fight, Common Dreams said.

“Our hearts are not defeated,” said Tom Goldtooth, executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN). “The closing of the camp is not the end of a movement, it is a new beginning.”

Goldtooth urged supporters to continue to resist through mass mobilisations and raising funds for litigation and grassroots’ organisation.

Thousands protest on ‘Not My President’ Day

Across the US, thousands of people marked President’s Day on February 20 by voicing their opposition to the policies of Donald Trump.

Common Dreams said big “Not My President’s Day” anti-Trump rallies took place in New York City, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and Chicago. At least two dozen offshoot events took place across the country.

In their call to action, organisers of the Los Angeles event wrote: “[Trump] does not represent our interests. He was voted in by a minority of the American public but governs as if there’s no resistance.”

Faced with Trump, more Americans join socialist groups

Since Trump’s electoral victory in November, socialist groups in the US have reported an explosion in membership and interest, Al Jazeera said on February 12. David Duhalde, the deputy director  of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), explains that the group’s membership has soared to 16,000, more than doubling since May last year. In the past two weeks alone, more than 2000 new members have registered. 

DSA members have taken in mass protests against Trump’s inauguration, supported the Women’s March and called for the release of immigrants detained at airports owing to the new president’s ban on travellers from seven Muslim-majority countries. 

The revolutionary socialist group Socialist Alternative also said its membership has grown by more than 30% since Trump's election. 

The Socialist Party USA’s national secretary office told Al Jazeera they had also encountered “a solid spike from right after the elections”.

Although nationally socialists are weak as an organised force, an April 2016 study by Harvard University found that 51% of millennials — a loosely defined group of people aged between 18 and 29 — reject capitalism and 33% support socialism. 

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