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Trump Protesters Plan To Open ‘Movement House’ In Washington DC

Above: People outside the White House protest against President-elect Donald Trump’s election. Photograph: Michael Reynolds/EPA

Young organizers hope to raise funds to create ‘space for the best kinds of troublemakers’ near White House to quickly mobilize against incoming president

A group of millennial activists from across the country plan to open a “movement house” in Washington DC next month, which will serve as a permanent base to protest Donald Trump’s presidency.

The organizers are mostly women of color, many of whom campaigned for Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primary.

The house, which will be set up by inauguration day on 20 January, has been dubbed “District 13”, in a reference to a rebellious neighborhood in the Hunger Games books and films.

Activists told the Guardian that it will serve as a “space for the best kinds of troublemakers from around the country”. The property will be located in Capitol Hill, close to the White House and the Capitol building, and will enable activists to quickly mobilize against Trump should he court controversy during his presidency.

“Ultimately it’s to make sure we hold him accountable,” said Moumita Ahmed, the founder of Millennials for Revolution, a group which span off from the Bernie Sanders-supporting Millennials for Bernie.

“Because his presidency is not normal at all. It’s our duty to make sure he doesn’t succeed.

“If he succeeds it’s a message that everything he stood for is OK. That it’s OK to get to power in the way that he did, and hurt all the people he’s hurt.”

District 13 will be open to activist groups around the country who wish to demonstrate in the capital, Ahmed said. The house is inspired by movement houses from the civil rights era, which served as a safe haven for people to plan marches and protests.

People from ethnic-minority activist groups, such as African Americans for Bernie and Color of Change, are involved in planning for the movement house, while climate change and minimum wage campaigners have also contributed.

“Most of the people involved are people who will most definitely be affected by this administration,” Ahmed said.

“As someone who is from a Muslim family, I’m invested in the safety of my community. And I see this administration as a threat to my community, especially because of the rhetoric that was used to become the president.”

The groups launched a crowdfunding effort on Tuesday to support District 13. They aim to reach $50,000, which will cover the house’s rent for one year.

Erika Peralta, who has worked for Color of Change – an organization with more than one million members that works to “create a more human and less hostile world for black people in America” – is another organizer of District 13. She plans to live in the house for the first three months of Trump’s presidency.

“The aim is to be a focal point and a nexus for activists and progressive people across the country to provide them resources and aid and our networks to stop any hatred that may come from the White House or to stand up against it,” Peralta said.

“We’re going to work to make sure that whatever [Trump] is trying to do, whether it’s a Muslim registry or deport a bunch of immigrants, we’re not going to let that happen.”


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