LGBT activists hold 'dance protest' outside Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner's Washington DC home

Chants of 'Ivanka come dance!' and 'complicit' could be heard as activists danced on top of cars to pop music

Maya Oppenheim
Monday 03 April 2017 12:22 BST
Organisers were subject to dozens of homophobic and abusive messages on their Facebook page
Organisers were subject to dozens of homophobic and abusive messages on their Facebook page

Hundreds gathered outside Ivanka Trump’s home in Washington to protest Donald Trump’s regressive policies on climate change.

President Trump signed an executive order last week overhauling and rolling back Barack Obama’s measures to tackle climate change.

LGBT activists hosted a “dance party” on Saturday night to display their opposition to the controversial order which seeks to suspend, rescind or review more than a half-dozen measures in an effort to boost domestic energy production in the form of fossil fuels.

Brandishing rainbow flags and placards about the first daughter, fancy-dress-clad protesters danced their way down Embassy DC and gathered outside Ms Trump’s $5.5 million home in the affluent Washington DC neighbourhood of Kalorama. Chants of “Ivanka come dance!” and “complicit” could be heard as activists danced on top of cars to blaring pop music.

Ms Trump, the president’s third child who is said to be his “favourite”, did not appear to be home but metal barricades, police tape and armed agents were still put in place to block off the sidewalk.

One of the organisers of the protest, Firas Nasr, argued Ms Trump was not doing enough to challenge her father.

"We definitely believe that Ivanka Trump should leverage the power she has to stand up to the bigotry and hate that Trump and his administration, more broadly, spews," he told The Independent.

"That means speaking out and acting in solidarity with the LGBTQ and Climate Justice communities when they are under attack."

Mr Nasr said there was a considerable police presence, including secret service, at the event.

"One old white man came out of his house to harass and threaten protesters, which we found saddening in light of the fact that it was a peaceful protest," he said.

Fellow activists said the protest was organised to protest against Mr Trump's order and push the message “our climate and our communities matter”.

“The entire Trump Administration has shown a blatant disregard for our planet and it’s inhabitants, like paving the way for the Dakota Access Pipeline displacing the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe,” a Facebook page for the protest read.

“The reality is that the people most affected by the administration’s bad climate decisions are our most vulnerable friends: our poor, working class, native, trans & POC siblings. We must put our bodies on the line for our earth and for all who depend on its resources."

Organisers drew attention to fact Rex Tillerson, the Secretary of State and former ExxonMobil chief executive, is one of Ms Trump’s neighbours. Ms Trump recently sparked fury among her neighbours for disturbing the upmarket area, which is also home to the Obamas and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, with heavy security and taking up parking space.

Organisers were subject to dozens of homophobic and abusive messages on their Facebook page. Some critics argued Ms Trump should not be held responsible for the Trump administration's policies.

Ms Trump, who lives in Washington with her husband and senior Trump advisor Jared Kushner, has been widely accused of failing to stand up to her father or hold him to account for his divisive policies or rhetoric. Despite the fact she was regularly brought into the presidential campaign to help her father boost his popularity among female voters, she has been accused ofceasing to carry through on some of her promises.

Last week it was announced Ms Trump has been appointed as an official government employee and would be joining Mr Kushner who also serves as an unpaid White House advisor to her father.

This is by no means the first time protesters have assembled outside a location associated with Ms Trump. Last November, activists held a candlelight vigil outside the Puck Building in Manhattan, which is owned by the family of her husband, the property developer and investor, Mr Kushner.

The quiet, calm protest attracted renowned artists such as Cecily Brown, Ryan McNamara, Rob Pruitt, Jonah Freeman and Marilyn Minter and protesters held signs and candles.

“I’m afraid Mike Pence will make conversion therapy legal to do LGBT youth,” one placard read, while another said: “Dear Ivanka, can you tell your father that dozens of species going extinct every day is NOT A HOAX”.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in