Sam Allard / Scene
A protester stands before riot police in May, 2015, on the night of the Michael Brelo portests.
Cleveland, Ohio will be among more than a dozen cities nationwide where the far-left organization Refuse Fascism will stage protests this weekend. The event in Cleveland kicks off at 1 p.m. on Saturday on Public Square.
These protests have been billed by organizers as the first in a series of non-stop demonstrations with the ultimate goal of removing President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence from office. They are, roughly, the raison d'etre
of the organization.
"This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!" screams the Refuse Fascism literature
. "In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!"
The forthcoming events have naturally spawned a chorus of war cries
from the digital radical right — many of whose card-carriers have adopted the hashtag #civilwar2017 — but local and national organizers insist that the demonstrations will be nonviolent.
Scene asked local organizer Jeremy Brustein how, then, Refuse Fascism intended to remove Trump and Pence from power, if not by force. Brustein responded that there were any number of mechanisms, not the least of which was impeachment, but the goal of the protests was to produce so much sustained attention on and opposition to the administration that it would have no choice but to buckle under the pressure.
That sentiment is reflected in the event literature.
"Our determination to persist and not back down will compel the whole world to take note," reads the description
. "Every force and faction in the power structure would be forced to respond to our demand. The cracks and divisions among the powers already evident today will sharpen and widen. As we draw more and more people forward to stand up, all of this could lead to a situation where this illegitimate regime is removed from power."
Refuse Fascism is a national organization that far-right opponents castigate as "George-Soros-funded." Scene covered one local alt-right personality
(the guy who, for a brief stint, was dressing up in chain mail and picking up garbage downtown on a daily basis) this summer. He viewed the Refuse Fascism folks as his primary adversaries.
(Note: The headline for this piece incorrectly referred to the forthcoming protests as the "Antifa Revolution" and has been edited.)