For many New Yorkers the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris was a celebratory occasion. But not everyone celebrated.
On Jan. 20, protesters gathered at Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan to say the fight for justice is not over with the conclusion of the Trump administration. Protesters say they will now hold President Joe Biden accountable to protect the rights of underprivileged Americans, with some hyperbolically claiming the new administration as being equally “evil” to its predecessor.
“Even though we should celebrate that we got the racist, white supremacist, anti-immigrant, sexist, transphobic president out of the White House, the work remains to be done. We have to stick in the streets and stay organizing, we have to build pressure on the elected officials because we can’t trust them to get the job done,” said Robert Guffey, a member of Socialists of America.
In addition, the demonstration also called the wealthy to task for extravagant living while the majority suffer during a global pandemic.
The protesters, who call themselves “Workers of the World” and said they stand in solidarity with the Hunts Point Strikers in the Bronx, who they say were subjects of police brutality after their picket line was raided Tuesday night.
“We are all in the same fight. We have common enemies. The same people attacking the Stone Wall protests are the same people arresting the strikers at Hunts Point in the Bronx,” continued Guffey.
Those attending the rally hauled signs and banners condemning Biden, along with denouncing the mass layoffs that have occurred over the course of COVID-19 pandemic, especially essential workers who have provided aid during the hardest hit months only to be let go weeks later.
“I’m here with you today because our public institutions have been under attack long before Trump took office, and now today is a new day with a new president. It’s vital that this newly elected Democratic administration knows that working people will not stand for the status quo,” said Kelly Cabrera, an ER nurse who works at a public hospital in the South Bronx.
Cabrera shared her experience with other healthcare workers who have struggled with budget cuts, dealing with understaffed and overworked nurses in emergency rooms.
“At public hospitals like mine, we take immense pride in providing care to all, regardless of their ability to pay, regardless of immigration status, insured or uninsured. I’m so proud of that and that is why I defend it,” Cabrera said, hoping that the Biden administration sees these sacrifices and pushes to invest in universal health care.
“It starts here, it starts now, it starts with all of us,” Cabrera said.