It was an honor being requested by immigration organizations to help their direct action to Wall Off Trump and his hate, racism and xenophobia during his acceptance of the Republican Presidential Nomination. Many people of color and others demonstrated against Donald Trump in downtown Cleveland during the 2016 convention.
Most stayed away from downtown due to the fear of violent clashes with white supremacists, nazis and also due to the unwelcome presence of militarized police, NSA, CIA, FBI, Homeland Security, Secret Service and other private security. Despite such a high concentration of oppressive governmental acronyms, the deployment was supposed to block a major entrance and almost wrap the entirety of Quicken Loans Arena and extend into the middle of the city, directly in the belly of the beast.
Law enforcement agencies that were physically present were on high alert anticipating and hunting for an actual physical wall to be erected. What they weren’t expecting to be deployed was our culture in the form of our bodies wearing ponchos and also banners complete with frontline messaging.
Despite having amazing energy and art from the frontline community present, this was a completely ineffective blockade. I witnessed an onsite agreement between these nonprofit leaders and the police to open a section of the “blockade” to let Republicans in unbothered to support the racism of Donald Trump.
It is these same agreements made in secret negotiations between the state and corporate resistance managers (nonprofits) that minimizes and relegates the energy of frontline Indigenous anger to a mere performance. These community performances fill the bank accounts of nonprofits by their funders and foundations that benefit from incremental change-based “solutions” that are only meant to consolidate colonial power.