Organize your Rage: #DISRUPTJ20 is on its way
A group of local activist has organized under the slogan “DISRUPTJ20”, under the DC Welcoming Committee, to call upon protesters, workers and any citizen that may want to join, to boycott Donald J. Trump’s inauguration.
DISRUPTJ20 has put forward a network of activists to organize protests and a general strike that pretend to disturb the investiture of the President-Elect Donald Trump, spreading direct actions in the streets and through any media in hand.
The organization behind the campaign is the DC Welcoming Committee, founded by several non-profit organizations, with no political preference, that “rejects all forms of domination and oppression, particularly those based on race, class, and gender”, inviting everybody to join initiatives in this framework.
Offering housing, food and even legal advice, the DCWC plans to even stop the whole city of Washington during the ceremony, using blockades and marches that could stop traffic and public transit.
The gathering has been called at 9AM, January 20th, at McPherson Square, from where several mobilizations will be orchestrated, according to their website www.disruptj20.org
The group defines “direct action”: “when you take collective action to make social change without giving power over to an authority or middle person. We don’t ask permission or put our faith in electoral politics, instead, we use our bodies to stop the smooth operation of the system we oppose”.
Similarly, the movement has stated their principles:
- Our solidarity will be based on respect for a diversity of tactics and the
plans of other groups.
- The actions and tactics used will be organized to maintain a separation of
time or space.
- Any debates or criticisms will stay internal to the movement, avoiding any
public or media denunciations of fellow activists and events.
- We oppose any state repression of dissent, including surveillance,
infiltration, disruption, and violence. We agree not to assist law enforcement
actions against activists and others.
Meanwhile, more than 130 artists and critics have joined the protest through a petition to close cultural centers and any artistic related activity during January the 20th.
Among them are Cindy Sherman, Richard Serra, Louise Lawler, Joan Jonas and Julie Mehretu, international artists whose record precedes them. Their protest variation is called “J20Art Strike” and they are opposing, as their statement reads, the “normalization of trumpism”. “It is not a strike against art, theater, or any other cultural form. It is an invitation to motivate these activities anew, to reimagine these spaces as places where resistant forms of thinking, seeing, feeling, and acting can be produced”.
Even though this initiative has spread and reached both coasts, great institutions like MoMA, Whitney Museum and Lacma, have manifested that their doors will remain open, since the cultural houses of the country are the heart of dialogue and civic commitment, echoing what The Guardian’s columnist Jonathan Jones wrote in his column:
“Emotionally, I completely sympathize. (…) Yet an art strike is just about the least effective idea for resisting Trump that I have heard. (…) I admire some of these artists greatly, but the notion that museums will help anything by closing their doors, or students will scare middle America into its senses by cutting art classes, tastes not of real hard-fought politics but shallow radical posturing by some very well-heeled and comfortable members of a cultural elite.”
A more risked initiative was the one proposed by the Uruguayan-American artist Luis Camnitzer, who has launched an online petition to the President-Elected Donald Trump to commission the creation of an orange wall to the intervention artist Christo.
“Dear President-Elect Donald Trump: Please commission U.S. artist Christo’s [sic] with the creation of a new a version of his Running Fence to separate the U.S. from Mexico. His first project in Sonoma was completed in 1976 with great success. Though only 24.5 miles long then, in full length today it would transform a racist project into a public art event, and help improve the image of the U.S. with a cultural veneer”.
The original piece by Christo was called Running Fence, and “took the form of white fabric stretched along steel poles through rural areas of Sonoma and Marin Counties, near San Francisco, California”. This analogy of the separation of the space is precisely what Camnitzer referred to in his petition, which immediately went viral and has become very popular in social networks.
One way or another, the social, artistic and cultural proposals seem to be the order of the day, especially in a circumstance where the American democracy will need every resource at hand to keep the ship afloat.