On March 25th some fascists, neo-Nazis, alt-righters, and their friends (“Trump supporters”) decided to hold a “Make America Great Again” march in Lansing, MI. We decided to show up and make their stay as uncomfortable as possible. We took advantage of the fact that while amplified noisemakers are not allowed (without a permit), as long as it’s not amplified it’s totally legal. Therefore: enter the Lansing Antifa Drum Line.
We rolled in with a huge banner (“Defend Lansing from White Supremacy, Fuck Cops, Fuck ICE, Fuck Trump”) and another (“Immigrant Solidarity- Chinga La Migra”) as well as basically a shit ton of drums. And earplugs. Some of us wore masks, some of us didn’t, whatever. We tussled with the Trump troupe over control of the city steps. They kept threatening to kick the shit out of us…. But we had more people than them. They had to call in their armed militia friends to protect their little rally. Hilariously one of these right-wing gun nuts showed up with a crossbow. Zero tactical advantage.
The longer we hung out and drowned out their sound system with our drums we began to notice…. Hey, these aren’t just normal Trump assholes…. Some of these are Nazi Trump assholes. Some dude with a “White Lives Matter” shirt showed up from the Traditionalist Workers Party. When he saw that we outnumbered them he bashfully hid his “White Pride World Wide” flag. Later on some Alt-Right dudes showed up sporting their unmistakable fashy haircuts.
As the Trump people left the steps they had to walk through a sea of black balloons, black flags, and… glitter!!! Because we are both fierce and fabulous. We also made a couple hundred flyers to hand out to supporters who showed up. It was a pretty solid counter-demo and it involved some commie groups, the statewide network “Solidarity and Defense”, Lansing Antifascists, some Women’s March supporters, and even more.
If they try to come back again we will also be back, instruments and all. We were able to drown out their rhetoric without obviously breaking the law, which worked well with the numbers we had, and meant that nobody got popped!. Next time we will have not just drums and tambourines, but also trumpets, trombones, and tubas. We have to even out our antifa orchestras with more high-pitched instruments. Their hate speech was literally impossible to hear because of how well our music and chants worked. The Trumpers tried hard to keep a serious vibe, and our use of dancing, music and glitter seemed to upset and unnerve them more than simple chants and shouting. Next time we plan to come back bigger and better. We will meet them at every junction and make them think twice about showing their faces in Lansing again.
President Trump and his regime are waging a war on the most vulnerable populations in this country. The anti-woman, anti-abortion authoritarian agenda is encouraging far-right groups to make their presence felt. In Lansing a group of anti-choice demonstrators made public their intentions to hold a demonstration outside of a local Planned Parenthood.
Lansing Antifascists stand in solidarity with women’s health centers against the anti-choice measures backed by the far-right. On February 11th, early in the morning, a group of anarchists, socialists, and antifascists climbed an eight-story high parking garage that is currently under construction in Frandor Shopping Center. From the top floor we were directly overhead the pro-Planned Parenthood demonstration below. As an act of antifascist solidarity we hung a gigantic banner that read “Defend Planned Parenthood, Defend Autonomy.” We then hurried down the parking structure and blended into the crowd of pro-choice demonstrators, free from both harm and notice.
The fight against Trumpism will take many forms. Central to our efforts are immigrant solidarity, community self-defense, and other antifascist efforts in Lansing and beyond. This banner drop was one action among many in our offensive against the violence that Trump is enabling and escalating. As Lansing Antifa we are going to defend our community against oppression at whatever the cost.