Local activist and artist Nikkita Oliver sings at the #Earth2Trump event in Seattle. Photo by Sara Bernard.

Earth 2 Trump: Cross-Country Tour of Resistance Launches in Seattle

The Center for Biological Diversity began its 16-city anti-Trump tour on Monday.

It’s the evening of January 2 and bitterly cold out, but inside the Central District’s Washington Hall, the air is warm and buzzing. With a mere 18 days left until inauguration, Seattleites are gearing up for a President Trump.

Hundreds of people fill every chair and inch of wall space, arming themselves with protest songs, messages of hope, pledges of resistance, whoops of applause, and information about the people and organizations working locally on the issues under threat — particularly climate change, racial justice, immigration reform, and reproductive rights. One thing seems very clear here tonight: Seattle is ready.

The “#Earth2Trump Roadshow,” a two-week, 16-city tour hosted by the environmental nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity, launched Monday in both Seattle and Oakland, Calif., to completely packed houses. Washington Hall was certainly crammed, and although the event is free everywhere it lands, “in Oakland,” says Steve Jones, media specialist with the Center, “they had to start turning people away.”

#Earth2Trump heads to Portland on January 3 and Los Angeles on January 4, and will travel east along both a northern and southern route, hitting spots such as Denver and Omaha and Houston before ending up in Washington, D.C. in time for Inauguration Day. There, it will join with the protest movement #DisruptJ20, which promises to use blockades and marches and other forms of direct action to stop traffic and shut down the inaugural festivities.

The goal of #Earth2Trump, according to the Center for Biological Diversity, is to build “a network of resistance against President-elect Trump’s attacks on the environment and civil rights,” and so it partnered with local organizations, activists, and musicians around the country to do so. Seattle’s list of #Earth2Trump co-sponsors is long and varied, including the ACLU of Washington, the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Unite Here Local 8, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA), and the Sightline Institute.

Tablers in Washington Hall on Monday included NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, the Transit Riders Union, and 350 Seattle; speakers included local activist and performer Nikkita Oliver, Daniel Shih representing the ACLU, Rising Tide Seattle co-founder Ahmed Gaya, 16-year-old climate activist and musician Aji Piper, Seattle Neighborhood Action Coalition co-founder Kaya Axelsson, and Aneelah Afzali, the founder and executive director of the American Muslim Empowerment Network (AMEN), a new social justice initiative through the Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS).

Afzali describes AMEN as, so far, a “one-woman show” with lots of eager volunteers. She says launching something like this was certainly on her mind before the election, but on November 9, she went immediately to work. Among AMEN’s first efforts is to share an action list for combating Islamophobia, which Afzali handed out liberally Monday.

The night was like a balm to anti-Trump despair: Nikkita Oliver wooed the room with melodic layers of song and spoken word; Aji Piper spoke about the kids’ climate lawsuit and sang about environmental preservation as he plucked a ukulele; and headliner musicians and social justice activists Dana Lyons and Makana drummed up solidarity through ballads and sing-a-longs.

Most in attendance signed the Center for Biological Diversity’s “pledge of resistance,” too, and added their own personal promises to the statement. They dropped the messages into a large, hollow globe that #Earth2Trump promises to deliver to the President-elect on January 20. Then, a few people got up on stage to share what they’d written, including one elementary school-aged girl. She said: “What I wrote is, ‘Trump, if you were a person of color, how would you feel?’”

More in News & Comment

Seattle and King County Officials Want a Safe Injection Van

The mobile project—an alternative to permanent sites—still doesn’t have a defined timeline.

Western Washington Could See More Wildfires This Year

Lots of grass and warmer weather could make for worsening fire seasons.

An autopsy found that Tommy Le was shot twice in the back during an fatal encounter with a King County sheriff’s deputy. Photo courtesy Career Link
New Report Calls for Increased Transparency From King County Sheriff’s Office

The fatal shooting of Tommy Le served as a case study for researchers.

Charles Pillon sits inside one of the several buses on Iron Mountain. Photo by Caean Couto
The Last Days of Iron Mountain?

After battling King County government for decades, Charles Pillon may have finally lost the fight over his illegal 10-acre junkyard.

The public files into the City Council Chambers to voice their opinions prior to the vote to repeal the head tax. Photo by Melissa Hellmann
Head Tax Repealed By Seattle City Council

After pressure from big businesses, city leaders cave on their plan to fund homeless services.

A scene from the 2017 Women’s March Seattle. Photo by Richard Ha/Flickr
County Sexual Harassment Policies Could Be Overhauled

One King County councilmember says male-dominated departments have “workplace culture issues.”

The Firs Homeowners Association celebrate outside of the Maleng Regional Justice Center after a ruling that buys them more time in their homes on June 7, 2018. Photo by Melissa Hellmann
SeaTac Mobile Home Owners Granted Stay From Eviction

The ruling allows about 200 residents more time in their homes, as they attempt to acquire the property.

Most Read