‘Pussies in Formation’: Women Block Trump Tower in Protest of GOP Presidential Nominee

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‘Pussies in Formation’: Women Block Trump Tower in Protest of GOP Presidential Nominee

Auditi Guha

“We made it clear our bodies are ours and that the GOP needs to back off,” said Agunda Okeyo, a New York City-based writer, filmmaker, and activist who took part in the protest.

More than 80 multiracial women marched to Trump Tower Wednesday morning in New York City and called for a rejection of the Republican presidential nominee, citing decades of anti-woman, anti-immigrant, and anti-Black policies supported by the Republican Party.

“We made it clear our bodies are ours and that the GOP needs to back off,” said Agunda Okeyo, a New York City-based writer, filmmaker, and activist who took part in the protest.

The women-led action was organized under #GOPHandsOffMe just days after House Speaker Paul Ryan vowed not to campaign for Trump in the final days of the election season, in response to recordings in which the Republican presidential nominee bragged about apparently sexually assaulting women.

The activists, many of them survivors of sexual assault, wore black and carried signs with pictures of cats baring teeth that read “Pussies in Formation,” “This Pussy Votes,” and “Hands Off Our Cuntry.”

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They held hands and blockaded the doors to Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue while chanting “GOP, hands off me,” and “Donald thinks he runs this town, pussy came to shut it down,” according to a press release from organizers sent after the demonstration.

“It’s not about lewd language, it’s about promoting and condoning sexual assault,” said Nadya Stevens, one of the organizers, in the press release.

“As a proud Chicana and a survivor of sexual assault, I’m appalled not only by the GOP’s 50-plus years of misogyny and racism, but also that they continue to support this sexual predator for president,” Jodeen Olguín-Tayler said to Rewire.

An organizer of the protest, and vice president of Demos and Demos Action, Olguín-Tayler said in an email to Rewire that if President Barack Obama had made any of Trump’s remarks about women, “he’d be fired by the American people. Yet, Trump retains the support of many Republican leaders despite his bullying, assaults, and attacks on women.”

Olguín-Tayler added that the GOP’s continued support of Trump reaffirms that they continue to wage a war on women’s bodies, health, and safety. 

Proud to be an immigrant and a New Yorker, Okeyo told Rewire in a phone interview she is completely incensed with the GOP’s attitude toward women. She said she got on board for #GOPHandsOffMe as soon as she heard about the action organized early Wednesday.

“It was a really multiracial, multi-generational coalition of women who stood up to this man,” she said.

Like others, she first heard about Trump’s apparent assaults on TV. “I was definitely taken aback by the vulgarity and his proprietary feelings over women’s bodies, but I also wasn’t surprised,” she told Rewire. “I’ve followed his campaign and was aware of the accusations ranging from assault to rape.”

Wednesday’s action was part of a wave of similar events taking place in Albuquerque, Houston, San Francisco, and Seattle. In New York, organizers stressed that women have the political power to reject sexism, racism, and xenophobia.

“Through our speech and action, women can make a world where women are safe, immigrants are valued, and Black lives matter,” said Hannah Allison, a social worker who held a “GOP Hands Off Me” sign, in the press release.

“Women are rising up, all over this country,” said Olguín-Tayler, who participated in the We Won’t Wait Summit led by women of color last month. “Together, we will bring an end to the Republican Party’s war on women and people of color. Together we will transform this country into one where we can live with dignity and free from fear of racial, economic, and sexual violence.”