About one hundred people rallied in front of the future site of Donald Trump‘s Pennsylvania Avenue NW hotel this afternoon, handing out buttons urging D.C. to “dump Trump” and holding signs that borrowed the Republican presidential candidate’s TV catchphrase, “You’re fired.”
“People call Pennsylvania Avenue ‘America’s main street,’ and we don’t need hate speech on America’s main street,'” said John Boardman, executive secretary-treasurer of labor union Local 25. The protest was just one in a string of national public demonstrations against Trump, who referred to Mexican immigrants as drug peddlers and rapists in a campaign speech on June 16. Yesterday, celebrity chef José Andrés backed out of a deal to head the flagship restaurant in Trump’s hotel, which will occupy the Old Post Office at 12th street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW; chef Geoffrey Zakarian followed suit.
In 2013, Trump signed a 60-year lease for the Old Post Office building with the General Services Administration. He took control of the building the following year and broke ground at a ceremony attended by then D.C. Mayor Vince Gray, now Mayor Muriel Bowser, and members of the D.C. Council.
When asked about the latest controversy by NBC4, Bowser said, “Trump’s comments are idiotic and offensive, but this is a federal project.”
Attendees of today’s rally included organizers from Local 25, who chanted “Where do we want Trump? Not in D.C.” Members of the immigrant outreach network CASA de Virginia held signs that read “Stand with immigrant workers” and “I’m not a raper.”
D.C. Shadow Sen. Paul Strauss said he was proud to stand with hardworking Latino immigrants who “deserve better.”
Some involved in the protest, like Boardman, called on politicians “of all stripes” to disassociate with Trump and refuse to patronize his businesses. Others, like Raskin, want to halt construction on the building.
“This post office used to be a center of communication. Now it’s going to be a center of propaganda, disdain, and stereotypes,” Raskin said.
Photos by Morgan Baskin