The Women's March on Washington is getting a lot of press ahead of Saturday, the day hundreds of thousands of people from across the country, including an estimated 10,000 from Florida, are expected to march on Washington to call for equality at the outset of one of the most divisive periods in U.S. history.
But for Tampa Bay area residents interested in participating in events that in some way counter the inauguration of Donald J. Trump taking place closer to home — due to budget, work/family obligations or DC in January being justtoofuckingcold — there are quite a few on our radar on both sides of the bay leading up to, during and after Inauguration Day.
Here are some on our radar:
Bernie Sanders Inauguration Celebration. With the explosion of misleading and sometimes entirely false news stories that had a huge influence on public opinion (and we're reluctant to use the phrase "fake news" anymore, given how the right has distorted its meaning, applying it to anything they don't like), it seems like some people live in their own fantasy world where they can mold objective reality so that it fits their preferred narrative. That's not what the folks at The Mermaid Tavern in Seminole Heights are doing per se on the eve of Trump's inauguration. But they will be celebrating what might have been with a faux Bernie Sanders inauguration Thursday, complete with "socialist" $6 beer specials, a special Bernie brew from Hidden Springs Ale Works and an "inauguration speech" from "Bernie" himself. Thursday, 1/19, 9 pm-2 am. Mermaid Tavern, 6719 N Nebraska Ave, Tampa.
Tampa Inauguration Day Active Protest. Instead of marching or meeting in a particular spot for this event, organizers are asking prospective participants to counter Trumpmania by volunteering at organizations that are going to need all the help they can get in the coming years, including healthcare, LGBTQ rights, refugee assistance, environmental issues, engaging in local politics, etc. Friday, Jan. 20, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. (pick your own three-hour time slot). Sign up here.
The People's Inauguration. Just hours after Trump's presidency becomes official, activists hope to make downtown St. Pete's Williams Park a hub for those who want to embrace the diversity that seems to very much run counter to Trump's policies, words, actions and even the cabinet he's selected. There will be live music as well as a number of speakers urging resistance and perseverance at a time when many people are staring down loss of access to health care, discrimination, fewer opportunities, environmental doom and even war. Coming together and speaking out will get us through it all, organizers say. Friday, 1/20, 4-6 p.m. Williams Park, 330 2nd Ave. N., St. Pete.
Inauguration Day Walkout (USF). Protest movements would not be what they are today if it weren't for students staging sit-ins, walkouts, die-ins and marches as a means of standing up to injustices. Students at the University of South Florida's Tampa campus plan to keep up that storied tradition on Inauguration Day via a walkout organized with help from Students for a Democratic Society. The event is open to anyone concerned about how the Trump administration is going to impact women, minorities, the environment or any other group or area that may suffer in the next four years. Friday, 1/20, 1-4 p.m. USF Cooper Hall, 4202 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa.
Inauguration Day: Fight Back Against Trump's Agenda. Activists will gather in downtown Tampa to highlight their opposition to Trump's divisive agenda, attacks on immigrants and refugees and what they fear will be an administration largely characterized by warmongering abroad. Friday, 1/20, 6-8 p.m. Sam F. Gibbons Federal Courthouse, 801 N. Florida Ave., Tampa.
Dawn of the Donald. With a title that invokes the zombie apocalypse but is actually a reference to a forthcoming book the organizers of this event wrote, writers, comedians and other performers will take to the stage to express what life in the Land of Trump means to them. The roster includes improv troupe Mature Content, comedian Becca Childs and musician/writer Ricko Donovan. Proceeds benefit the ACLU. Friday, 1/20, 7-10 p.m. Studio@620, 620 1st Ave S., St. Pete.
Inauguration Day Protest Show. If all that daytime chanting and rallying isn't enough, another popular avenue of protest, music, will light up St. Pete's Warehouse Arts District Friday night with performances from the likes of Jeremy Gloff and SunGhosts as well as words from a guest speaker list that includes Joran Oppelt and Becca Bastet (full list here, more TBA). Proceeds benefit the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. Friday, 1/20, 8-11 p.m. The Venture Compound, 2621 Fairfield Ave. S., St. Pete.
Women's March St. Pete. This one's the biggie. It's expected to attract thousands from across the Tampa Bay area, who will rally and march for equality and justice. It's intended to coincide with the Washington March in a show of solidarity with those who made the trip. (We spoke to the event's organizers last week; here's what they had to say.) Since a big crowd is expected, we advise that you leave early to find decent parking. Saturday, 1/21, 12 noon-3 p.m. Demens Landing, Bayshore Dr. and 2nd Ave. S., St. Pete.