On Wednesday, October 23, a group of eight Jewish protestors interrupted Trump’s speech in Pittsburgh at a conference in support of fracking, which comes just days before the one-year commemoration of the shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue.
The protestors condemned Trump for his his lies and ugly rhetoric that incited violence in Pittsburgh and spread to Poway, El Paso, and beyond. This is their statement.
Statement from Jewish Protesters who Disrupted Trump’s Rally in Pittsburgh
We dream of a country that is truly welcoming, inclusive, and compassionate, a place where we are all safe, and where we all belong.
But one year ago, eleven Jews went to morning Shabbat services at Tree of Life - Or L’Simcha synagogue in Pittsburgh, four miles from here, and did not come home.
That day a year ago, the world of Jews in America turned upside down. We hugged each other close. We poured into the streets for candlelight vigils.
And what did this President do? He held a campaign rally that same night. Our lives were not worth even a pause for him.
As we remember the deadliest act of antisemitic violence in the history of the United States, we look with clear eyes at what made this horrific attack possible: callous politicians and pundits who use our fear as their weapon to build a country that’s only for themselves.
The gunman who entered the synagogue a year ago was driven by fear and lies to kill Jewish people and stop new immigrants — but he didn’t invent these lies. He heard them from the mouth of this President and the white nationalists this President and his allies have emboldened and enabled.
And what did this President do? Instead of changing his ways, he doubled down on his ugly rhetoric and policies of fear, leading to more violence and deaths, from Poway to El Paso to our nation’s immigrant detention facilities, and beyond. Our lives were not worth changes in policy or rhetoric for him.
This President has spent a year emboldening white nationalists with rants about invasions, loyalty, and savagery. He has spent a year claiming that immigrants and people of color are a threat. He has spent a year putting children in cages and tearing families apart. And he has spent a year accusing Black and Brown people of antisemitism, when he is the one sowing fear amongst all of us for his own personal gain.
We have come here today from Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, Ohio and North Carolina, New York and Washington, D.C. because just days before the commemoration of the largest antisemitic attack in our country’s history, our people are still in danger. And we aren’t the only ones.
In Jewish tradition there’s a story from when the Jews were fleeing slavery in Egypt. They got to the Red Sea and were stuck — the sea wouldn’t part — until one young person walked into the water and kept walking, all the way in until he couldn’t breathe. And only then did the sea split.
We have come here today to walk into this red sea because all of us are at risk of drowning amidst the fear and lies of this President. And it’s going to be up to us to split the sea and march toward freedom and safety.
This President and his allies are counting on our fear to keep us divided and alone. The most powerful thing we can do in response is to act together for our shared future – no matter our race, or our religion, or how long we’ve been here.
Our lives are in danger, but our solidarity will set us free.