Anti-Trump organization, Refuse Fascism, rallies in front of Lane


Mytam Vo

One of their first demonstrations, on Sept. 28. Students were encouraged to write their opinions of Trump on the whiteboard, as well as hit Trump with an orange pool noodle.

By Mytam Vo, Reporter

Before Trump’s presidency, hitting a cartoon cardboard cutout of the president of the United States with an orange pool noodle may seem like an odd fantasy.

Cue Refuse Fascism, a liberal organization whose goal is to “drive the regime from power,” their website states. Their plan is to impeach Trump, as well as his cabinet.

Refuse Fascism doesn’t exclusively target Trump. Instead, they target “Trump, Pence and all their henchmen,” which refers to people on Trump’s administration like Jeff Sessions and Scott Pruitt, according to their website.

On many occasions during the school year, volunteers can be found by the Addison and Western bus stop, next to signs with messages such as “In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse To Accept A Fascist America!” and “The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!”

Most of the volunteers support Refuse Fascism’s goal and take time out of their schedules to help spread the message, handing out stickers and flyers to students. Many of the stickers have their slogan, “NO!” written in bold letters while displaying the hashtag, #TrumpPenceMustGo.

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines fascism as “a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.

Lane leans more towards a liberal mindset, being a school that is in the inner city of Chicago, according to Ms. Constantine, a counselor at Lane for 6 years.

Out of 130 students who responded to a poll on the Lane Tech class pages on Facebook asking about their political affiliations and belief, 16 percent replied that they were conservative.

One response stated, “As a Republican, I am scared to share my political beliefs in fear of being ridiculed or physically attacked. Even though I have tried to have respectful conversations with people who disagree with me, I find that later they say I’m racist or xenophobic.”

Another response wrote, “It’s good that people are able to assemble and have a freedom of speech. Many countries don’t have it and we are able to. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs.”

Other responses said that the political climate had further separated people and made it difficult to have conversations on politically charged topics.

Ted Sirota, jazz drummer and representative for Refuse Fascism said in a phone interview, “People agree with the fact that we are protesting fascism, but some question our mass protest.”

Many who responded to the poll questioned why Refuse Fascism chose to recruit supporters in front of a school. “As long as it’s peaceful, I don’t really think it should be shut down, but it’s a fine line when it’s in front of a high school,” Constantine said in an interview.

“This presidency is based on trolling and mocking and bullying,” Sirota said. “When a regime like this clamps down, there’s nothing funny anymore. We cannot wait for the system to correct itself.”