November 30, 2020

A resistance rejuvenated: ResistSTL says ‘Trump must go’

ResistSTL reactivated this summer as people in the St. Louis area came together to resist President Donald Trump.

Keith Rose grabbed his lawn chair, mask and signs on Oct. 25 to stand in solidarity with 100 others to resist President Donald Trump.  

ResistSTL gathers to paint signs in St. Louis on Nov. 2. The group reactivated over the summer and has begun
planning how to resist President Donald Trump’s “authoritarian attacks on democracy.” Photo contributed by Richard Reilly.

“We’re not really an organization. We’re a group, and we’re calling ourselves ResistSTL,” Rose said. 

ResistSTL is a local group that reactivated over the summer. They pledge to “resist Trump and his authoritarian attacks on democracy.” 

ResistSTL has been a group for four years, forming right after Trump’s inauguration. The group’s first successful effort was closing down Lambert airport after Trump placed a ban on Muslims coming into the country.

The leaders of the group recently moved out of St. Louis, so they needed to pass on the torch to keep ResistSTL alive. 

The new ResistSTL group is made up of a horizontal leadership: a lot of people working together with no individuals in charge. Rose is one of those individuals. 

He is  30 years old and has been an activist for 16 years. 

“I was heavily involved in the Ferguson protests and I’m really involved in police abolition and police accountability,”  Rose said. 

Once Trump got elected, Rose said his activism increased. He joined ResistSTL because of his strongly conflicting views with Trump and he wanted to expand the task force in opposing Trump’s reelection.

Khalea Edwards is another individual who is part of the horizontal leadership. 

Edwards became an active voice in ResistSTL. She joined the group in August and has spoken at events. 

“I joined ResistSTL to be part of the resistance,” Edwards said. 

Edwards is a senior at the University of Missouri-Columbia. 

“I had this realization of who would respond if Trump were to stage a coup. I knew we needed to be talking to our families about the very real possibility of a stolen election,” Edwards said. 

ResistSTL pointed to Trump questioning the validity of mail-in ballots, which led them to prepare for every possible outcome of the election. 

“If Joe Biden wins, and he wins decisively, we will still have two and a half months of President Trump. In that time period, he can do a lot of dangerous things,” Rose said.

ResistSTL has held six events since the summer where they informed people about a possible mass mobilization if Trump tries to steal the vote count. They also teach people how to peacefully protest, so they can all protest together. 

“Basically everything Trump did, we protested,” Rose said. 

ResistSTL had over 100 people come to each event. Attendees of different ethnicities ranging in ages from 11 to 90 years old come ready to resist Trump. 

As a Black female, Edwards urges the importance of forming and educating allies. 

“Our ancestors have given us skills and lessons that we must continue to share with others—it’s revolutionary,” Edwards said. 

ResistSTL is looking for more involvement. They are looking for campus ambassadors at local schools who are willing to reach out to their campuses about protests and issues that ResistSTL is focusing on. 

“It’d be great to have some people at Webster,” Rose said. 

On Nov. 3, ResistSTL will be holding an outdoor election watch party in downtown St. Louis at 7:30 p.m. to midnight. 

“That’ll be a space, not only to watch the election coverage, but also to be in unity,” Rose said. 

ResistSTL wants to be able to immediately plan necessary action in case Trump tries to steal the election or tries to stop the counting of votes. 

“I know for me, I don’t want to wake up the next day unprepared,” Edwards said. 

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