And Tuesday was July 4th, or Independence Day, in the United States. Across the U.S., activists staged protests and demonstrations to demand justice for indigenous people, immigrants, Muslims and others. In Texas, people blockaded the July 4th parade to protest the anti-immigrant bill SB 2, which was signed into law by Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Also in Texas, protesters heckled Senator Ted Cruz over his support for the Republican healthcare bill and held signs reading “Ted wants us dead.” If passed, the Republican Senate healthcare plan could cause 22 million Americans to lose their insurance over the next decade. Meanwhile, former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick posted a video of himself on Twitter visiting Ghana, along with the words, “How can we truly celebrate independence on a day that intentionally robbed our ancestors of theirs? To find my independence I went home.” In New York City, members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations held a teach-in inside Trump Tower to educate people about the rights of immigrants and Muslims in the United States. This is Talia Bauer.
Talia Bauer: “We are at Trump Tower. We are on the fifth floor in—I’m not sure what this pavilion is called, but it was a space that was designated as like a free speech area of some sort. So we’re here kind of like in the belly of the beast talking about like what this horrible space represents in terms of 45 and in terms of capitalism and in terms of like huge wealth disparity in New York. And so we’re kind of taking it over ourselves.”
Meanwhile, NPR faced an outburst of online protests from Trump supporters on July 4th, after NPR tweeted out the entire Declaration of Independence—and people mistook the document and thought NPR was calling for an armed insurrection against President Trump. In response to NPR’s tweet of the line “it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,” one Trump supporter replied, “So, NPR is calling for revolution. Interesting way to condone the violence while trying to sound 'patriotic.' Your implications are clear.” This Twitter user later apologized, writing, “I was terribly stupid for this comment.”