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Protesting Trump on Shabbat

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Protesting Donald Trump and greeting Shabbat–it was an unconventional Friday night service, for sure.  Rabbi Brant Rosen of Tzedek Chicago, the city’s new non-Zionist congregation, decided to change the plans for the regularly scheduled Friday night Shabbat.  Instead of the usual service, Shabbat would be celebrated at the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) campus to stand in solidarity with others protesting Donald Trump’s rally at the UIC Pavilion.  The group met at the corner of Van Buren and Racine Streets and walked towards the Pavilion together.

(Photo: Liz Rose)

(Photo: Liz Rose)

By Thursday night, over 50,000 people had signed petitions calling on the university to cancel the rally.  Trump was scheduled to speak at 6:00 pm on Friday.  Thousands of people protested outside the Pavilion.  Shortly after 6:30 pm, it was announced that the event was canceled.  A speaker approached the podium and said, “Donald Trump has determined that for the safety of all of the tens of thousands of people that have gathered in and around the arena, tonight’s rally will be postponed to another date.  Thank you very much for your attendance and please go in peace.”  Tzedek Chicago remained outside the Pavilion with the other protesters.  

People came primarily to protest Trump, of course.  But they were trying to draw attention to other pertinent issues as well (issues which might only worsen if Trump is elected).  The diverse crowd was a convergence of these frustrations.  Some protesters carried signs calling for Anita Alvarez to leave Chicago with Trump (Alvarez is the District Attorney who waited a year before bringing murder charges against the officer in the Laquan McDonald case).  Many Chicago public school teachers were at the rally, wearing the red t-shirts that marked the 2012 strike (the Chicago Teachers’ Union is currently prepared to strike again if an agreement cannot be reached regarding their contract).  Black Lives Matter signs and t-shirts were seen throughout the crowds as well, joined by chanting of the now-famous phrase.  Some carried signs of Trump looking like Hitler.  Others held signs in Spanish: “Un cerdo fascista cien por ciento estadounisense (A Fascist Pig Hundred Percent American); a young woman held a sign that said “El Maligno” (The Devil).  A scattering of signs showing solidarity with Palestine could be seen throughout the rally.  

(Photo: Liz Rose)

(Photo: Liz Rose)

When the crowd started to thin out, a few folks from the congregation made their way to a nearby park for a quick Shabbat service.  In his Tzedek Chicago email sent a few days before Friday, Rabbi Rosen wrote: “Clearly this is not the most conventional way to greet Shabbat. Nevertheless I do believe–and trust you will agree–that this is where we need to be tonight.”  Making our way through the crowd back to the train, several students walked in the middle of the street wearing parody Trump masks.  Other students walked in groups.  A few teenagers accompanied their parents.  A line of police on horses stood in the intersection in front of the Pavilion.  The people of Chicago had told Trump that his divisive politics were not welcome in their city.

(Photo: Liz Rose)

(Photo: Liz Rose)

Liz Rose

Liz Rose is a Chicago teacher.

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12 Responses

  1. Emory Riddle on March 14, 2016, 11:42 am

    This demonization of Trump is out of control.

    • echinococcus on March 14, 2016, 2:34 pm

      Out of control it isn’t. It’s a perfectly controlled, massive propaganda campaign, particularly obvious in the “liberal” web sites, especially the Sanderist ones. The level of hysteria and the incredible frequency of trash pieces, several every day for each site, is really impressive.

      The obvious goal is the despair felt by the owners of the country before the unsellability of Empress Clinton II –even as a “lesser evil” choice. So, while pretending to continue to support Sanders, their main job now is to create enough “The Яeds Are Coming!” hysteria to get the Sanderistas ready to vote Lesser Evil, starting yesterday.

      I sincerely hope that this site, somewhat specialized and off the main Democrat sewer albeit still in the “liberal” orbit, is not getting ready to join the shameless propaganda campaign.

    • Keith on March 14, 2016, 4:40 pm

      EMORY RIDDLE- “This demonization of Trump is out of control.”

      No, it is what elections have come to be. An orchestrated psychological terror campaign to scare the voters into voting against your opponent. That way, the ignorant electorate can justify voting for imperial business as usual, while simultaneously feeling pride in having prevented some immense evil from coming about. It is a marketing campaign aimed at the citizenry which has huge fears and very little comprehension of the nature of the current political economy.

    • bryan on March 14, 2016, 4:40 pm

      Dump the Chump: if he is not a fascist (and who can tell since he seems unable to articulate any word longer than six letters) he is a pretty good imposter.

  2. echinococcus on March 14, 2016, 12:33 pm

    Nonsense. Before you “protest Trump”, let’s see what you are doing against the Zionists.
    Trump is of course inconsistent, but at least he told the Zionists he wasn’t for sale and made some noises about being evenhanded as an honest broker. He also seemed to oppose wars of aggression. None of the “Democratic” or “Republican” candidates even tried to do any of that.

    In the absence of anything like that, what is an anti-Trump screed that is only just that doing here, when all other candidates are rabid Zionists? Let’s have it in the open.

    • amigo on March 14, 2016, 2:48 pm

      “Let’s have it in the open.” echinococcus

      I second that.

    • Emory Riddle on March 14, 2016, 4:54 pm

      This sort of demonization (of Trump by the mainstream media and the establishment) is usually reserved only for some Muslim leader that the Zionists have targeted for removal. To see it applied to a front runner presidential candidate is something I have never seen in my lifetime.

      The Zionists are out of control.

      The good news is their usual tactics seem to no longer be working. The more and more they do this, the better Trump’s polling numbers get.

      Can you imagine the reaction if cartoons of Netanyahu as a Nazi were published in the mainstream press? Couldn’t happen of course but is indicative of the old Zionist double standard. They can do and say whatever they like but the rest of us are limited by the controls they put on our words and actions.

      • echinococcus on March 14, 2016, 10:53 pm

        Correct. Now, how come this Zionist campaign is yet again conducted on MW? Is it becoming a tradition?

  3. Steve Grover on March 14, 2016, 2:22 pm

    “When the crowd started to thin out, a few folks from the congregation made their way to a nearby park for a quick Shabbat service.”
    Did Rosen lead the service with “Shma I hate Israel”? Did you all bow to suicide bombers and knifers instead of the Sabbath Queen during L’Cha Dodi?

  4. Bandolero on March 14, 2016, 4:53 pm

    “The people of Chicago had told Trump that his divisive politics were not welcome in their city.”

    The people of Chicago? Isn’t that the people who elected the ultra-zionist Rahm Emanuel to be their mayor?

    As Trump is loathed by the zionist establishment I smell a rat here.

  5. jsinton on March 14, 2016, 6:11 pm

    While I deplore Trump for his racist rhetoric and low brow appeal, I have to give him credit as refreshing from a foreign policy perspective. He promises deal even handed with the Palestinians, he told the Zionists “You can’t buy me”, He’s got the neocon/GOP/Zionist cabal scared shitless. From an anti-Zionist point of view, he’s fabulous in my book. I guess the old-school socialist-Jewish point of view he’s deplorable, but then how many of those people are anti-Zionists and how many are “progressive except Palestine”?

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