Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant said her office has been inundated with angry phone calls and other messages since she called last week for massive demonstrations against Donald Trump’s inauguration as president.
Sawant, her aides and council receptionists have fielded thousands of calls, emails and Facebook messages — mostly from Trump supporters, she said.
Last Wednesday, the council member spoke at a City Hall rally and then urged Trump protesters at Westlake Park to take part in demonstrations across the country.
“On Inauguration Day, we are going to shut it down,” the Socialist Alternative Party activist told the crowd, shouting through a megaphone.
Video and media coverage of Sawant’s remarks made their way onto social-media and news sites across the internet, including the right-wing site Breitbart.com.
A KIRO-TV Facebook video of her at Westlake Park has been viewed more than 3.8 million times.
The council received more than 200 calls before 9:30 a.m. last Thursday, according to the council.
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Some people calling and writing have made misogynist, racist and bigoted statements, and the calls have come from across the country, Sawant said.
In emails, people have told Sawant to “go hang yourself,” called her names and instructed her to “go back to India,” according to the council.
Many callers have said “they voted for Trump because they’re fed up with corporate politics,” said Sawant, who endorsed Green Party candidate Jill Stein for president.
“But also many people are outright racist and bigoted, and we have to have a very clear stand against that,” she said.
Some people believe Trump’s election means there’s “a mandate for being openly racist,” Sawant said.
The council member said demonstrations are needed to oppose Trump’s plans, which include deporting millions of immigrants who entered the country illegally and nominating a Supreme Court justice who could help overturn the Roe v. Wade abortion-rights decision.
“The inauguration will go on,” she said. “But that doesn’t mean we have to accept Trump’s agenda quietly. We have a moral duty not to.”
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