On Friday, Jan. 20, Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, but to say he’s a popular choice would be an exaggeration. Supporters point out he won fair and square, with 304 electoral votes, more than the 270 required to win. Detractors point out that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by over 2.6 million, and in a “direct democracy” would have been elected instead.
But this isn’t a direct democracy, it’s a “democratic republic,” as the decisive power of the Electoral College makes clear. Both supporters of his election and detractors will be marking the inauguration with their own public displays, not only in Sonoma but on the national stage as well.
On Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, a group of local Trump supporters will gather in the Sonoma Plaza at 3 p.m., “showing support for our new President,” as Elizabeth MacDonald says. “We want to show support in a positive way and do not want any negative barbs thrown at Democrats.” She hopes for positive signs and American flags, not negative posters or confrontations, the 30-year Sonoma resident said in an email message to friends.
“I don’t want crazies to take it over ... which is why I tried to keep it on the down low. Democrats are melting down and I don’t want it to turn into a battle. I have made it clear this is a positive get-together, inappropriate signs or behavior is not welcome,” she told the Index-Tribune. The rally will begin at 3 p.m. on Friday at the El Camino Real bell marker on the Plaza (where Napa and Broadway intersect).
MacDonald was one of the very few pro-Trump respondents to a recent Facebook post requesting feedback from Index-Tribune readers on their plans for the Inauguration. Most of the reactions were from women and men, promising they’d be attending one of the many “Women’s Marches” in the Bay Area, from San Francisco to Santa Rosa to right here in Sonoma – marches scheduled for the following day, Saturday, Jan. 21.
In Sonoma, a group are organizing a march in conjunction with the Women’s March on Washington, on 11 a.m. that Saturday, according to Aiko-Sophie Ezaki. They will gather at the City Hall at that time with “signs, banners, instruments and your friends and family,” for a rally and “peaceful march” around the Plaza.
Ezaki admits this is her first foray into “grassroots organizing,” even though she works in community development for the Jewish Community Federation in San Francisco.
Most of the other local women who met at a local coffee shop late last week to plan the event are veterans of decades of social action, said Ezaki.
“It’s just a very different era,” said the 33-year-old Sonoma native and SVHS grad.
“I was planning on going to San Francisco, but looking at the logistics it was just going to be ridiculous,” she said. “Then I heard that Napa had a Sister March and Santa Rosa had a Sister March, and thought Sonoma had to be doing something.” (The national Women’s March in Washington is using the term “Sister March” to describe “local solidarity events inspired by the Women’s March on Washington.”)
Her online research led her to Nancy Dito who was working on a local Sisters March. “I asked, do I have your permission to create an event page on Facebook and link us to the national organization, and she said yes.”
Demonstrations will be held at the Sonoma Plaza and elsewhere on the occasion of Donald Trump's inauguration.
Friday, Jan. 20: Demonstration to show support, at the El Camino Real bell on Napa and Broadway (north side of Horseshoe lawn). Positive signs and American flags requested. 3 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 21: Sister March to national Women's March on Washington, meet at City Hall. Signs, banners, instruments, and friends and family welcome. 11 a.m.