Community members gather at City Hall opposing Trump’s Murphysboro rally

By Rana Schenke and Brandi Courtois, Staff Reporter and Managing Editor

Community members gathered on Tuesday evening outside of Carbondale City Hall to protest Trump’s upcoming rally in Murphysboro on Oct. 27.

The rally took place outside of City Hall because the City Council canceled their meeting. Council member Adam Loos said he had planned on giving a resolution during the meeting but instead gave it at the rally.

In his resolution, Loos called for the city to declare Trump unwelcome in Carbondale.

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“Assaults have increased when cities hosted rallies organized by Donald J. Trump,” Loos said. “The proper term for politicians who gain or maintain power by scapegoating and demonizing racial and ethnic minorities, women, people with disabilities, and immigrants is fascism.”

Molly Howard-Crow, the officiator of the event, opened the event and said the city had refused them a podium, so they made their own.

“Tonight’s City Council meeting was canceled, according to a source inside City Hall, because of a credible threat of right-wing paramilitary violence, though the city officially denies this,” Howard-Crow said.

Howard-Crow said the mayor of Carbondale claims tonight’s City Council meeting was canceled because there would have been incredibly long public comments and discussion about the current visit.

“Their work, your work, our work has created a new type of power that is proven by the assembly of individuals gathered here today,” Nathan Colombo, a local businessman, said.

Colombo said while the crowd’s actions at the protest were significant he regretted to say they were not enough.

“There is only a future for you if you recognize where your power comes from and how to wield it,” Colombo said. “Your power comes from your ability, be it vast or narrow, and you must recognize what that ability is and take it seriously.”

He said it may not be safe but it is all too necessary. Colombo said to attendants they were not alone.

Layne Ellingsworth, a spokesperson for the Youth Democratic Socialists of America, said the organization stood in solidarity with the people’s assembly against Trump in the hopes of allowing him, and fascists everywhere, to know that you are not welcome in this city.

Victor Arevalo, a member of the Saluki Rainbow Network, said Carbondale is not welcome to fascists or Trump.

“We are against his disgusting policies,” Arevalo said.

Another member of Saluki Rainbow Network, Tomas Cortez, told attendees to be strong in voicing their concerns no matter what happens.

“These concerns are not whines from snowflakes, but issues our communities are suffering from and dealing with every day,” Cortez said.

Clare Killman, a transgender artist and activist from Herrin, said the supremacy of the Trump nation, over which he is willing to risk nuclear conflict and global ostracism, has no place for transgender people in it.

“I’ve had conversations with my husband where he begs me to let him send me to another country because we both live with a fear of violence visited on the trans people of this country,” Killman said.

America is the third largest killer of transgender people in the entire world, behind Brazil and Mexico, Killman said.

“Instead of sowing division and fear of the other, let’s get to know one another,” Amina Butt-Sharif, a spokesperson from the Carbondale Muslim Center, said. “And let’s counter the hate and fear mongering with love and courage.”

Butt-Sharif said Trump may be succeeding at temporarily keeping Muslims out of the US but those who were already here would not be silenced or intimidated.

Carbondale Solidarity Network will be organizing another rally on Oct. 27 ahead of the Trump rally. The current meeting time is 12 p.m., but may be subject to change.

An audience member asked Howard-Crow if the Solidarity Network was aware of a group of SIU students planning on not attending the Trump rally because they felt it gave him more attention.

“To that, I say they are welcome to not attend,” Howard-Crow said. “For those who wish to show their presence, be there on Saturday.”

Staff reporter Rana Schenke can be reached at [email protected].

Managing editor Brandi Courtois can be reached at [email protected]

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