Every day there is a choice between going and not going. The going seems extra and uncomfortable and so that is what is often chosen. Not tonight. I chose to go. Two pairs of socks, Street Angels hoodie, my parka, and my sign. You can’t go to a demo without a sign. I have a great one – big, red, durable, and with a big statement. A joyful sign, I’d say.
It was grand to be with hundreds of people protesting Trump’s weird rally in our town and chanting until I was hoarse. Hey Hey! Ho Ho! Donald Trump has got to go! And even grander to walk through Milwaukee’s downtown and see the inflatable Trumpy with the gold hair waiting for us, our beautiful County Courthouse in the background. We also chanted: Whose Street? Our Street! when cops made us squeeze on to the sidewalk. It felt great to talk back.
Across from the arena where Trump was speaking, there was a thick row of Milwaukee police officers. I recognized one of them right away – Chad, the cop who is also a nurse, who trains people to do homeless outreach. “I forgot my jacket,” he said, laughing, “Now I know how our friends feel.” He was referring to our homeless friends, not everyone would know that, but I did. It made me feel like we were comrades. It was that kind of night.
So, if you are offered the choice of going or not going, of bringing your sign or leaving it in the closet, yelling chants or looking down at your boots, you know what to do. You won’t be sorry.