Where are they now?

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The number of motivated marchers is dwindling since Trump’s election. And there’s only a handful of excuses for not hitting the streets


  • Hundreds of protesters assembled in Times Square on July 26 in response to President Trump’s announcement of a ban on transgender military service. Photo: Michael Garofalo

To the upwards of 500,000 kick-ass New Yorkers who broke through police barricades and took over city streets for the Women’s March, and to the angry and motivated masses who rushed to JFK after Trump’s initial travel ban — where are you now?

While the GOP has been getting their twisted good ole work done — or at least trying to — I still lament the Sad! turnout at the Intrepid for Trump’s first visit back to our fine and filthy city, as well as the paltry numbers at the various important demonstrations that have followed.

Groups like Rise and Resist engaged in a relentless and spirited six months of protests and civil disobedience, getting arrested in DC and New York — and do recall January’s cough-in at Trump International Hotel — to help save Obamacare. And last Wednesday, they along with several local groups joined forces to cobble together a respectable last-minute turnout in Times Square to after Trump announced a ban on transgender service members. Still, we must do better to show up — much, much better — especially as we’re faced with a looming constitutional crisis if there’s a recess appointment to replace Jeff Sessions in an effort to derail the Russia investigation.

Dear People of New York City, my fellow cash-strapped and space-deprived, as a native New Yorker I certainly know this can be a uniquely tough city to navigate, but there is only a handful of excuses for Gotham’s healthy and able-bodied millions not to hit the streets in seven-digit beauty and with the same vigor and flair as a Pride March as often as possible.

Here are some of them:

-Stuck in line at Trader Joes

-Can’t get childcare, i.e. called a millennial but they didn’t answer their phone

-Seeing Hamilton with tickets bought when Obama was still President

-At brunch debating whether RuPaul’s Drag Race’s move to VH-1 from Logo, and whether it’s an indication that we gays are about to lose our network on. top. of. everything. else.

-Sick to stomach about the continued lingering prospect of having no health care when sick to stomach

-Binge-watching the latest highly anticipated fodder that’s been hacked and prematurely released

-Delayed due to “weapons of mass transit” (includes outages, derailments, flooding, oozing who-knows-what green sludge, and occasional power cut by passengers who want some “mood lighting”)

-Have a case of “Sessions Syndrome,” i.e. “can’t recall” or “don’t remember” hearing about any rallies, or protests, or marches

-Accosted by Sesame Street’s Elmo demanding a gratuity in Times Square

-Busy posting single-syllable words like “crazy” on Facebook (PS: this is not resistance)

-Suffering from smoke inhalation caused by an illegal BBQ rooftop party in an illegal AirBnB rental

-Way too bloated after eating the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you’ve ever seen

-Knocked out by e-bike, skateboarder, or hoverboarder going 40 mpr on the sidewalk

-At Blick art supplies stores embroiled in deep-seated color palette conundrums involving chartreuse, fuchsia, and copious shades of orange hoping that protest signage goes viral

Gail Eisenberg is a NYC-based freelance writer and member of Rise and Resist.

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