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Pro Protest

Memphians spoke with their feet (and funny signs) against Trump.

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Thousands filled the Memphis streets last week in three separate protests all aimed (in one way or another) at President Donald Trump.

Thursday - Environmentalists against EPA nom

Members of the Sierra Club's Tennessee Chapter gathered at the Clifford Davis Federal Building last Thursday to protest the nomination of Scott Pruitt, Trump's choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

"We're calling on [Tennessee Senators] Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker to reject the appointment of Scott Pruitt," said Scott Banbury, the Sierra Club's conservation program coordinator. "Pruitt has made a career of suing the agency to stop the implementation of rules that protect our water and air from pollution."

Sierra Club members feared Pruitt will oppose two air quality rules that Sen. Alexander has previously supported.

Three protests brought thousands to the Memphis streets. - JUSTIN FOX BURKS
  • Justin Fox Burks
  • Three protests brought thousands to the Memphis streets.

Friday - Inauguration walk out at universities

It started at the University of Memphis. They then moved to Christian Brothers University. After that, to LeMoyne-Owen College. And, by the time they made it to Rhodes College, a group of nearly 200 amassed and marched down University Street.

Student organizers from four Memphis-area colleges — University of Memphis, Christian Brothers University, LeMoyne-Owen College, Rhodes College — led a walk-out protesting the inauguration of Donald Trump on Friday.

The organizers, primarily women and people of color, issued a list of demands for their respective universities in an effort to spur progress locally during what some said they feared would be four years of regression.

"Our administration does not prioritize faculty of color," said Lindsey Smith, president of the U of M's Progressive Student Alliance. "In a city that is primarily black, that is not okay. As students united, we have power, and we can hold our campuses accountable."

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Saturday - Memphis Women's March

More than 3,000 people marched from the D'Army Bailey Court House to the National Civil Rights Museum Saturday in solidarity with the Women's March on Washington.

Memphis Congressman Steve Cohen and Adrienne Bailey, the former chief executive officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mid-South, took to the steps of the court house and spoke to a sea of people — parents and their toddlers, teenagers, the elderly — lifting signs and chanting.

"This is the most serious threat to the constitution ever in our lifetime," Cohen said. "A threat to the environment, a threat to world peace, a threat to women's rights, a threat to the rights of everyone. This is supposed to be a 'non-truth' period — but truth always wins in the long run."

Bailey said to the women in the audience that it is time to get to work.

"It's our time to rise up again," Bailey said. "This is a party. This is a celebration, but it's time to roll up our sleeves. Our work is just beginning."

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