Local organizers gather at Trump Tower to protest violence at U.S. Capitol


Eric Henry

Signs targeting President Trump at a gathering outside Trump Tower held by Refuse Fascism.

As Congress convened Wednesday to officially count the Electoral College votes and finalize president-elect Joe Biden’s win, President Donald Trump encouraged his supporters to aggressively storm the Capitol in support of his efforts to claim a fraudulent election. 

In a scene of extreme violence and chaos, the attempted coup at the Capitol Building revealed increasingly aggressive partisanship at the tail end of a turbulent election. The mob broke down fence barricades, occupied the second-floor lobby just outside the Senate chambers and forced the evacuation of lawmakers. 

The violence also resulted in the death of Ashli Babbit, a 14-year Air Force veteran who was shot at the scene. The circumstances of her shooting have not been confirmed.

In Chicago, members of a national organization known as Refuse Fascism met in front of the Trump Tower to protest the president’s encouragement of violence from his supporters. Created at the onset of the Trump administration, the group works to organize non-violent protests that bring attention to the danger of his administration.

“Whether or not Trump succeeds in overturning this election, his fascist movement is succeeding in tearing up the norms of government and growing a battle-hardened base determined to fight forward,” Refuse Fascism said in a statement. 

Sammy Lines, a member of Refuse Fascism Chicago, stood alongside other members wearing orange shirts and carrying signs. Her sign, taped to a fake coffin, read: “Trump has blood on his hands.” 

Lines said the sign and coffin not only signify the number of deaths due to Covid-19, but Trump’s negligence in protecting Americans during his administration.

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  • Sammy Lines, a member of Refuse Fascism Chicago, stands beside a coffin with messages criticizing the President Trump.

  • A Refuse Fascism organizer speaks to the crowd outside Trump Tower on January 6th 2020.

  • Protesters gathered outside Trump International Hotel & Tower following an attack on the U.S Capitol lead by supporters of President Trump.

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“Trump wanted the whole thing to be disruptive,” Lines said of the attempted coup in Washington. “To think that he’s going to come out and be president again, he was never a president.”

Ted Sirota, who spoke at the protest, spoke further of the dangers encouraged by the president and his supporters. 

“The meaningless ideology that they perpetuate is not meaningless for the kids and babies in cages and parents that have been ripped from their arms and been deported,” Sirota said. 

Sirota continued to say that the ideology of Trump’s administration exacerbates the violence felt by the countless victims of police brutality including Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisc. 

Jay Becker, another member of the coalition, said that the organization demands Trump’s exit from the White House. 

“Anyone who had any doubts about his criminal acts, which have been going on since the day he was inaugurated, should have been put to rest today,” Becker said. 

After the mob was cleared from the Capitol Building, Congress reconvened and resumed counting the Electoral College votes to finalize Biden’s win. Refuse Fascism Chicago said they will continue protesting in front of the Trump Tower every day until Biden’s win is ratified.

“Our message today and our message tomorrow, our message every day until Biden’s win is ratified will be that Trump lost and the fascists have to go,” Becker said.