Once again, our resistance efforts are being noticed nationwide! This time it was Paul Ryan, Trump’s pusillanimous enabler-in-chief, who crossed our path. He came to Providence on March 2 to harvest corporate donations and a photo-op.
Like most Congressional Republicans, Ryan has been hiding from his own constituents, scared to face their wrath over his plans to gut health insurance, Social Security, public schools, environmental protections, and executive branch oversight. So when we heard he was coming to Rhode Island, we decided to call up our friends in Wisconsin and invite them to meet Paul Ryan in Providence … virtually.
On Thursday afternoon, hundreds of us gathered outside Ryan’s scheduled photo-op location, many of us holding up phones with Wisconsinites FaceTimed in for the occasion. As Ryan’s black car slipped by into the back alley under police protection, we chanted:
“Coward! Coward! Coward!”
“Hey hey, ho ho!
Paul Ryan has got to go!”
“2, 4, 6, 8, Congress must investigate!
3, 5, 7, 9, Paul Ryan, grow a spine!”
- Associated Press – Hundreds chant ‘Coward!’ amid Paul Ryan’s Rhode Island visit
- Common Dreams – Rhode Island Resisters Confront ‘Coward’ Paul Ryan on Behalf of Wisconsinites
- Alternet – Hundreds of Angry Wisconsinites Found a Clever Way to Heckle Paul Ryan in Rhode Island
- RI Future – Like a [health care] thief in the night, Speaker Paul Ryan visits Providence
- WPRI – Local protesters gather to greet House Speaker Paul Ryan
- RI NPR – Rhode Island And Wisconsin Residents Join Forces To Protest Paul Ryan’s Ocean State Visit
- MSNBC – The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell
Watch our highlight reel, below:
When you learned that Democratic lawmakers in our state had introduced a bill to coerce state and local employees to cooperate in the detention and deportation of immigrants, you mobilized.
For the past two weeks, volunteers from the Resist Hate community have been knocking on doors to collect signatures for our petition demanding the bill be withdrawn.
And it’s working. Two sponsors, Rep. Edwards and Rep. O’Brien, have already taken their name off the bill.
More than 2,500 of us have signed the petition. Now it’s time to deliver it and stand together for the safety of immigrants in our state. Tomorrow, Tuesday 2/28, at 3pm, we’ll rally in the State House Bell Room and personally deliver the petition to the bill’s sponsors. Will you join us? RSVP here.
On a rainy Saturday afternoon, dozens of Rhode Islanders gathered in Providence classrooms, sitting behind desks usually reserved for the students of Hope High School. Instead of teachers, there were community leaders standing at chalkboards, imparting knowledge on fellow activists who see President Donald Trump’s agenda and policies as divisive and oppressive. The gathering was organized by a group that calls itself Resist Hate RI, and their primary goal is to push back against the new administration.
To both celebrate a month of victories and to plan for the future, well over 800 people filled the cafeteria of Hope High School as Resist Hate RI convened their fourth meeting, and their first meeting since Donald Trump‘s inauguration. From the number of hands that went up when organizer Aaron Regunberg asked, it seems that more than a quarter of those in attendance were first timers. Regunberg is also the State Representative for District 4 in Providence. He opened the meeting explaining that Resist Hate RI was formed to support existing community organizing efforts and catalyze resistance to the Trump Agenda.
At Resist Hate RI’s fourth community meeting, held Saturday afternoon at Hope High School, activists were joined by hundreds of people who have been inspired by the election of President Donald Trump to develop and flex their own political muscle.
The meeting served as a way for people to join causes that are important to them, including reproductive choice, the Burrillville power plant controversy, immigration, health care and voting rights, to name just a few.
The high school’s basement cafeteria had a standing-room-only crowd that rallied before breaking up into smaller groups in classrooms. Many of the smaller meetings offered training for activism, including how to interact with the media, how to track down and communicate with public officials, and how to run for political office. The event attracted an estimated 800 people.
At Hope High School in Providence Saturday afternoon, a group called “Resist Hate RI” hosted a community meeting. People who are anti-President Trump attended workshops focusing on several issues. This was the fourth community meeting event the group has held.
“Part of what we’re trying to do here is make change right here in Rhode Island, There are laws in the state that we need to change. We need to enact protections for reproductive rights,” said Craig O’Connor, Rhode Island Director of Public Policy and Government Relations with Planned Parenthood of Southern New England.
What we accomplished yesterday was remarkable. Any piece of what we attempted would have been impressive but together it’s inspiring. We pulled together a rally with over 2,000 attendees in less than 24 hours, we marched across Providence, and we flooded a town hall to make sure our elected officials are held accountable with tough, focused questions.
Every action we take is a brick used to build a movement. This community mobilized overnight to stand in solidarity with Muslims and refugees. We made it clear: this is not the new normal and we will not accept hate.
At the town hall with Sen. Whitehouse the message was also clear. We expect him to be a leader in the resistance to Trump and will accept nothing less. On the steps of Nathan Bishop Middle School, the Senator committed to us to vote NO on 10 upcoming Trump nominations.
Video of our action yesterday is available below and events from some of our partners are also listed. We encourage you to review the details below and join as many as you can. Also look out for an announcement of our next community meeting time and location later this week.
Footage of our march and excerpts from the town hall with Sen. Whitehouse
When: Wednesday, February 1st, 3:00 PM
Where: Rhode Island State House
What: Stand with Planned Parenthood to demand our elected leaders, including the Governor and the Rhode Island General Assembly, take action to protect reproductive rights and access in RI.
When: Thursday, February 2nd, 3:00 PM
Where: State Room at the State House
What: Join EnergizeRI, Rep. Regunberg, and Sen. Calkin as they introduce carbon pricing legislation designed to combat climate change and promote Rhode Island as a leader in the clean energy economy.
When: Thursday, February 2nd, 6:30 PM
Where: Warwick Public Library, 600 Sandy Lane, Warwick RI
What: Moms Demand Action are meeting to discuss how to prevent gun violence here in Rhode Island.
When: Saturday, February 4th, 12:00 PM
Where: 33 Harrison Ave, Fourth Floor, Boston MA 02111
What: Join UNITE HERE Local 26 for a training on how to organize and fight=
back in the Trump era.
Thank you so much for your commitment. This is what hope and resistance look like. Let’s keep working.
Our second community meeting was on Saturday, December 10th at Hope High School in Providence. We saw over 800+ people turn out for a continued and in-depth discussion of the threats facing us from a Trump Presidency.
Below you’ll find videos of the speakers and reports from the working-groups.
More detailed notes from the working groups will be released later.