Donald Trump Can’t Hide From the Resistance

Yesterday, Donald Trump returned to New York City for the first time since being sworn in as president — and the resistance was there on the Hudson River to greet him.

NY Intrepid Resistance For Trump

Jill Pape (left) and Greenpeace activists hold banners that "RESIST" and the Spanish "RESISTE" on the Hudson River, joining thousands of New Yorkers in sending a direct message to the Trump administration.

© Stephanie Keith / Greenpeace

The USS Intrepid is huge. It’s a 27,000-ton, 820-foot, 2,600-person-capacity giant of an aircraft carrier permanently anchored in the Hudson River. But even the Intrepid couldn’t shield Donald Trump from the passion of the resistance.

Yesterday, Trump made his first return to New York City since his inauguration, fresh off celebrating the House of Representatives’ shameful vote to strip 24 million people of health insurance. In just one week, Trump has moved to open our coasts to more reckless oil drilling, sell off our public lands to fossil fuel companies, and threatened to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement.

After all that, there was no way I was going to let Trump show up in my city without meeting the resistance he deserves.

As throngs of protesters gathered on the shore of the Hudson waiting for Trump’s helicopter to land on the Intrepid, my fellow Greenpeace activists and I took a slightly different approach. We got out on the water in two small, inflatable boats and took our message of resistance as close to Trump as we could possibly get.

Speeding up the river, it was hard to imagine how we’d be able to hold our RESIST banners on such choppy waters without falling overboard. But we were on a mission, so we held on tight to our banners and tighter to the boat and persisted.

As we sat out on the river waiting for Trump’s helicopter to arrive, I found myself growing increasingly angry. I’m angry at Trump’s threats to the health and well-being of so many communities across the country, at his attempt to use New York City — a place of diversity and sanctuary — as the site of his homecoming, and at the fact that a vindictive bully like him is in the White House in the first place.

But as the crowds on shore grew, we began to be able to make out what they were chanting. “No more Trump!” came the call loud and clear, growing with each minute that passed. And out of my anger came motivation to continue resisting.

Because no matter where he goes, Donald Trump cannot hide from the resistance.

We are too big, too powerful, and too dedicated for him to escape. When he threatens one of us, we will rise up from every direction to defend our friends and neighbors. And if he tries to hide on a military aircraft carrier in the middle of a river, we will go out on the water to confront him.

Those two hours I spent on the Hudson yesterday were some of the most memorable in my nearly three years at Greenpeace. We can’t know for sure if Trump saw our banner, but I know my fellow New Yorkers did and were right there resisting with us.

Greenpeace has made a promise to #ResistOften — to let Trump know that we are not going away. Yesterday, we showed him exactly what that looks like. And I know that wherever he goes after this, the resistance will be there to meet him.

The next time someone lifts a RESIST banner next to Trump’s entourage, maybe it will be you.

Jill Pape is an engagement specialist and activist with Greenpeace USA.

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