Lured by an all-star lineup of celebrities, activists, and politicians, tens of thousands of people flooded Central Park West and Columbus Circle around the Trump International Hotel last night for the United We Stand rally. The purpose: To express their disgust with our soon-to-be President and kick off "100 Days of Resistance," a program of action designed to block the Trump agenda, protect vulnerable individuals and communities, and fight to keep such Obama legacies as the Affordable Care Act.
"I like to think positively that it will only take 100 days," Michael Moore said.
Actor and activist Mark Ruffalo emotionally addressed the crowd, starting his speech with: "Man, I need you. I needed tonight. Did you need this? I needed to be with my brothers and sisters here and to know that there’s hope in the world and that we have one another."
.@MarkRuffalo says Americans have to protect each other; spreads message of love during anti-@realDonaldTrump rally pic.twitter.com/OLPfktwavp
— Globalnews.ca (@globalnews) January 20, 2017
In addition to Moore and Ruffalo, speakers included Cher, Robert de Niro, Rosie Perez, Cynthia Nixon, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Sally Field, Julianne Moore, Rev. Al Sharpton, Muslim-rights activist Faiza Ali, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, Greenpeace Executive Director Annie Leonard, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Shailene Woodley, and Alec Baldwin, who briefly did his impersonation of our new thin-skinned, narcissistic Commander in Chief, much to the delight of the crowd.
Alec Baldwin impersonates Donald Trump during a massive protest in New York City https://t.co/JlL2RV5XQu pic.twitter.com/BX9JPS154F
— CNN (@CNN) January 20, 2017
Baldwin added, "Donald Trump and Steve Bannon and Mike Pence, they think that you are going to lay down. They don't realize New Yorkers never lay down." And de Niro poked fun at himself and his "overrated" actor friends:
“I’m an elitist libtard," Cher said as her introduction. "I’m an elitist libtard whose grandmother picked cotton, whose mother sang in bars when she was 8 years old during the Depression."
Mayor de Blasio told the crowd, "Donald Trump may control the agenda in Washington, but we control our destiny as Americans. And tonight is an example of people coming together to make clear what we believe is the future of our country and how we will fight for it. Remember, the country doesn’t reside in Washington D.C.—it’s every city, it’s every town in America where change is made, and we are resolute that we will keep making our cities and our towns better, regardless of who’s in Washington DC... [T]omorrow is not an end, tomorrow is a beginning. Get ready to build the nation we always believed in together."
Security was tight, as we've come to expect at any large gathering, with DSNY dump trucks blocking off Central Park West at Columbus Circle, with packs of NYPS officers on every block stretching up past 66th Street. Demonstrators did their rallying within barricaded viewing pens and, after a group singalong of "This Land Is Your Land" led by Natalie Merchant, several hundred people marched over the Dark Tower itself.