Bayfront Park Will Host a Second Protest During Trump Inauguration

Anti-Trump protesters converged on Bayfront Park the Friday after the November 8 election.
Anti-Trump protesters converged on Bayfront Park the Friday after the November 8 election. Ian Witlen
Women won't be the only ones marching against Donald Trump's inauguration in South Florida next week. The Anti-Trump Action Committee (ATAC) is planning its own March Against Trump, set to take place at Bayfront Park January 20, Inauguration Day. That means downtown Miami will host back-to-back demonstrations in response to the incoming administration; the South Florida Women’s Rally, which has endorsed and agreed to support ATAC's event, will take place the following day.

ATAC has planned and supported a few protests since the election was decided. Its first event brought out thousands of locals to march the Friday after Election Day. The protest, ATAC member David Gibson recalls, concentrated on "simply calling for resistance to Trump’s stated goals from the campaign, making it not about the man, but about his agenda as he had articulated it.”

With the January 20 protest, Gibson says, ATAC hopes to bring the community together the same way, creating a peaceful outlet for the frustration and anger that many feel and offering a platform of support for the communities threatened by Trump's agenda.

ATAC’s mission statement states the group “will provide a voice and conduit for action for people who are threatened by the new administration and for those who will stand together to resist it." Gibson says the group is made up of a diverse mix of races, ages, and genders, calling himself a “token white old guy.”

Although the South Florida Women’s Rally, which has received major publicity and endorsement, takes place the following day, Gibson says ATAC's protest is just as important. “We felt strongly that we wanted to be in the streets during his inauguration to make the point that the majority of the electorate did not vote for Trump," he says. "He has no mandate, [and] we are putting him on notice that we will resist his stated agenda."

The ATAC has also taken a more aggressive approach to protesting than the national Women’s March on Washington by using Trump’s face on all of its imagery. Gibson says it has been difficult to separate Donald Trump from the words he’s spoken and actions he’s taken. But if Trump has a change of heart? "Should he show that he is willing to walk back [on] what he has said and then deliver, well, we would be crazy to not support that, right?”

ATAC has coordinated with the South Florida Women’s Rally (which is connected to the national Women's March on Washington), endorsed it, and encourages people to attend, Gibson says — but the endorsement has not been reciprocated. “Ours is [an] explicitly anti-Trump agenda. Theirs is not,” Gibson says. “Both locally and nationally, theirs is a human and women's rights event with no overt position on Trump or his specific agenda. We have endorsed their mission, which is in line with ours — we want to protect those rights, [yet] they want to remain nonpartisan regarding the Trump administration.”

According to Gibson, there’s no way to predict the number of people who will attend the march, but he expects hundreds or thousands. And when they converge on Bayfront Park, he says, it'll be up to the crowd to decide what happens next.

"Our role [is] as coordinators of the majority of the public will," he says. "This is a movement led by the wants, needs, and interests of the broad public. We have always maintained our role as coordinators. It is the people who lead.”

March Against Trump
6 to 10 p.m. Friday, January 20, at Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Visit the Facebook page.
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