Inside the anti-racist resistance: Chicago youth shut down Trump

Originally posted on Workers World

Chicago, March 11 — Donald Trump’s racist, anti-immigrant, sexist, right-wing rhetoric has been met with powerful, organized protests both inside and outside of nearly every one of his major campaign events.

While demonstrators have been able to cut his talks short through disruption and civil disobedience, tonight was the first time the movement was able to completely prevent him from speaking, forcing Trump to cancel his campaign rally in Chicago.

This protest, as has been the case in various cities, was organized and led by youth of color. Black and Brown young people are leading the movement against Trump, white supremacy and bigotry.

As Cruz Rodriguez, a member of DePaul University’s Students for Justice in Palestine — and one of the students in my group that I took direction from — said on Facebook after the rally: “This movement was led by students of color — all the way! We did not endorse any other presidential candidate. We organized to take a stand against the rise of white fascism and white supremacy across the United States! BLACK and BROWN power came together to shut down a white supremacist! … THE REVOLUTION WILL GO ON!”

Our selfie — militant oppositon prepares an unwelcome.

Youth participated from many organizations

I arrived at the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion at 3:30 p.m. and met up with Cruz and other students, some of whom I had not met before, in the line to go inside. For weeks leading up to the event, groups came together online and in person to organize efforts to shut down the rally.

This was not my first time disrupting a Trump rally from the inside. Back in December, many progressives, including multiple members of Workers World Party, organized disruptions both inside and outside of the Dorton Arena in Raleigh, N.C. Many of the same tactics and efforts were used here in Chicago to successfully shut down Trump’s white supremacist rhetoric.

While in line, I spoke with some Trump supporters near me who assumed I was there with the same motivation as them. A concerned mother spoke to me about her support of “the wall” Trump wants to build between the U.S. and Mexico. As the line moved, a crowd of anti-Trump demonstrators across the street grew in number. As a protester walked by with a sign reading “TRUMP = RACIST,” the family in front of me turned and said, “How can we be racist when you are in line? These protesters don’t know anything.” I am an immigrant from Ghana, and it took all the self-control I had not to blow my cover.

Unlike in Raleigh, where we had to blend into the crowd or risk being preemptively kicked out, it became evident very early that many of us in the Pavilion were there to shut Trump down. I was inspired and energized by the presence of youth — from Students for Justice in Palestine, Muslim Students Association, Black Youth Project, Assata’s Daughters, Fearless Undocumented Alliance and other organizations.

Struggle against white supremacy victorious

Photo by Cassandra Davis

Of course, I worried for our safety as reactionary supporters grew weary of the growing number of disruptions, as well as the wait time. Many of us were inside the Pavilion for over two hours before we learned that the rally was “postponed.”

During that time, many of the demonstrators held disruptions by yelling chants and ripping up Trump signs. One reactionary began yelling at one of our people, and we all, as a collective, chanted “KICK HIM OUT!” until he was eventually removed by police. Once it was announced that the rally was cancelled due to “security concerns,” we all rushed onto the floor of the Pavilion, chanting “WE SHUT IT DOWN!” in celebration of our victory.

Outside, student groups led marches and speeches for hours, bringing together youth, students and community members who not only wanted to deny Trump a platform for his rhetoric, but to make connections between his narratives and institutionalized racism in Chicago.

Local movements have focused their efforts on Mayor Rahm Emanuel and State’s Attorney for Cook County Anita Alvarez, who worked together to cover up the multiple shooting of Laquan McDonald by police in 2014. Alvarez waited 13 months to release video footage of the murder and prosecute killer cop Jason Van Dyke.

Chicago police occupied the streets with the ruse of protecting Trump supporters. Yet the organized protest could not be stopped. Marches continued into the evening, and sections of the protest were able to block the parking garage that Trump supporters were vacating.

At one point, many of his supporters taunted us from the upper levels of the garage, but they knew, just as we did, that they had lost. Their bigotry and white supremacist rhetoric are not welcome in Chicago.

While this was a victory, we cannot stop here. Youth of color will continue to be at the forefront of the movement against sexism, racism, homophobia and anti-immigrant bigotry!


Right-wing politician attacks anti-racist athletes

Originally posted on Workers World

Photo source: Workers World

The University of Missouri has been a battleground for the struggle against racism, oppression and underrepresentation on college campuses. This came to national and international attention in early November. After a series of racist attacks — including hate speech and vandalism — went unanswered by the school’s administration, a vibrant Black student movement arose to fight against white supremacy at Mizzou.

Students demanded that the university president, Tim Wolfe, resign or be fired due to his negligence in responding to the racist terror that students were facing on campus. The hashtag #ConcernedStudent1950 was used by students to draw powerful connections between the year that the first Black graduate student, Gus T. Ridgel, was admitted to the university, and the concerns and needs of every Black student at Mizzou since then.

As Black students continued to face a marginalization that is deeply rooted in the racism found in predominantly white institutions, their strength and determination manifested in various ways. From protests to a hunger strike by Jonathan Butler, a 25-year-old African-American graduate student, to the announcement of the Missouri Tigers football team that they would boycott the remainder of the season until Wolfe was terminated, Mizzou students proved that they were dedicated to combating systems of oppression on their campus.

While all the connected student organizing that took place at the university should be applauded, it is necessary to note the particular weight of the players’ act of resistance. Universities and athletic conferences bring in billions of dollars annually, primarily from the unpaid labor of student athletes, an issue which was the subject of national debate earlier this year when the Northwestern University football players attempted to organize into a union. By withholding their labor, the Mizzou football team drew on the most powerful weapon the working class has at its disposal: the strike. The players took a huge risk, endangering their future careers as students and athletes, but it paid off: Within just 36 hours of the player’s announcement of their strike, President Wolfe resigned.

In direct retaliation to the courageous action of the football team, Missouri state Rep. Rick Brattin co-sponsored a now withdrawn bill that would have penalized the players for their actions to bring awareness to racism on campus and demand accountability from the university administration. House Bill 1743 threatened the freedom of speech of the players, including the right to protest and boycott, for it specifically stated that “any scholarship athlete who refuses to play for a reason unrelated to health, shall have his or her scholarship revoked.” (Edge of Sports, Dec. 15)

Yet, this bill was more than just an infringement on the player’s right to organize. Though the university’s student body is only 8 percent Black, 69 percent of the athletes are Black. This bill — a legislative version of the reactionary sentiment, “Shut up and play” — is a direct attack on the personhood of these Black students. Though the bill was withdrawn, it is a clear indication of the ruling-class agenda that Missouri’s legislature was so eager to rule out college athletics as an arena of class struggle. Similarly, the Northwestern players were ultimately denied the right to form a union by the National Labor Relations Board in August.

In defense of HB 1743, Brattin stated, “I sincerely believe students should be able to express their viewpoints, but I also believe our flagship state university has to keep and maintain the order that is expected from such an esteemed educational institution.” (Huffington Post, Dec. 16) Brattin’s sentiments reek of the oppressive respectability politicians often use to police Black voices. His need for “institutional order” mirrors the historic repression of Black resistance at the expense of our personhood. His “sincere” care concerning Black self-expression is limited to what fits the confines of systematic silencing and erasure.

While we celebrate the victory of Wolfe’s resignation and the withdrawal of the bill, we must not forget that it will take protracted struggle to fight against racist terrorism on college campuses and to also recognize that student athletes are superexploited, and deserving of a living wage and union, like all workers. The struggles are inextricably linked.

“If I ever saw one of those protestors again, I would shoot them.” — My experiences shutting down a Trump rally

The following is an edited version of an in-person interview I did with the wonderful Jess Dilday from Clarion Content about my experience in a collective shutting down of Donald Trump in Raleigh, NC on Dec. 4.


Last week, Donald Trump held a rally in Raleigh. Several activist groups came together to protest, and the result was 10 interruptions, resulting in Trump wrapping his speech up early. I recently sat down with one of the protestors in the thick of it, Danielle Boachie, to hear firsthand what it was like being at the rally.

What organizations are you affiliated with?

I’m in [sic] Workers World party. The Durham branch was out there at the Trump rally. I’m part of the Chicago branch now, but still consider myself a satellite for Durham. It’s a revolutionary socialist group and party that is anti-capitalist, anti-imperialism, and anti-colonialist. So, with Trump coming out here, it was very necessary to be part of protesting the rally.

From what I have gathered from social media, it was a pretty diverse group of protestors at this rally. Would you agree? 

Totally. There were lots of different groups – students, undocumented immigrants and people working against HB 318, Muslim groups, Black Lives Matter groups, and various grassroots organizations. There was a wide range of people and I actually didn’t know most of them.

Protestors united against Trump. Photo by Ben Carroll.

Protestors united against Trump. Photo by Ben Carroll.

Do you have a sense of how many protestors there were?

I would estimate about 50-60 protestors outside, and then I read that 25 people got escorted out from the inside.

Without this being too triggering for you, what was it like being inside of that Trump rally?

This is good because I still need to process all of this. I was nervous all week leading up to the rally. Once it came out on Facebook that Trump was coming and that people were interested in protesting, I thought, “Okay, I’m going to do this.” Of course, there was the risk of getting arrested. We just don’t know what is going to happen. I had a lot of nervous feelings surrounding it all week. And rightfully so.

I’ve protested a lot – I went to Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray, I protested here when Carlos Riley was wrongly incarcerated and after Jesus ‘Chuy’ Huerta death while in police custody, I’ve been protesting in Chicago. Protesting can be really scary. But I think being in this rally was THE most terrifying experience that I’ve ever been through. It is interesting because our society wants us to fear black men, but I don’t think there’s anything scarier than being in a room full of white supremacists shouting “USA, USA.” It was so terrifying.

We got inside and had to wait an hour before Trump even came out, which was very nerve-wracking. We had to try to blend in so we wouldn’t get kicked out. Actually, I think someone got kicked out before the rally began because they stood out too much as a protestor. We sat next to these two really cute old ladies. They were so decked out. The one woman was wearing a vest that was bedazzled with the USA flag and a bejeweled USA flag hat. They went ALL out. One of the people I was with had bought a pin that said “Hillary for Prisons” and she looked at it and said, “Oh I’m so glad you’re not a democrat, I was afraid of sitting next to protestors.” I think it’s funny that they thought we were democrats and not an alternative to the two-party system. Since we had to blend in, I had my Trump sign and every once in a while I’d wave it a little bit. I felt a little traitorous, but I also didn’t want to get kicked out.

While we were waiting, I was forced to listen to Trump’s words. He doesn’t seem to have any political structure or real solid content. He just plays into the logic of white supremacy and xenophobia that our society is founded on. There’s this really bizarre fear of non-white people that both he and the audience had, and I just sat there not knowing what to do.

Photo by Ted Richardson/AP

Photo by Ted Richardson/AP

Also, I had conceptualized the stereotype of Trump supporters as wearing cowboy boots and camouflage, or wearing bowties and Sperrys, which a lot of people did, but also there were a lot of everyday people. My mom, when she was watching videos of the protests, recognized someone who was sitting in the audience behind Trump as one of her regular customers. Also, I recognized someone who was sitting near us at my sister’s high school parade the next day as a Trump supporter. So a lot of the Trump supporters are people in our community who, at the rally, were actually very terrifying and violent.

Danielle and other protestors being attacked with signs by Trump supporters.

Danielle and other protestors being attacked with signs by Trump supporters.

Of course, once we started yelling, it was scary because sitting there for 40 minutes before it was our turn was really hard.

When it was time for us to begin our protest, we stood up and chanted “Black Lives Matter, Brown Lives Matter” over and over. You could see how threatened that the Trump supporters were by us acknowledging and validating non-white groups – our chanting was such a threat to them.

It was really terrifying to sit for 40 minutes before it was our turn (we were the 8th group) and watch what was happening to all of the other protestors. One guy down in the pit was chanting something anti-war and a Trump supporter in red just SWUNG at him. I saw that and thought, “I almost can’t go through with this.” The Trump supporters were pushing and shoving the protestors, and in a group after us, someone got tackled and jumped. The Trump supporters were very violent.

We chose a good spot because we were up in the seats behind Trump, so it took a long time for the police to come to us and escort us out. While we were getting escorted out, we got roughed up a bit by the supporters. We got spit on. It was very physical. I think we didn’t get it as much as some of the other people that were in the pits. We chose specifically to sit in the seats for that reason.

Danielle and other protestors leaving the rally. Photo by Amber Mathwig

Danielle and other protestors leaving the rally. Photo by Amber Mathwig

Earlier today when I was reflecting on what we would talk about in this interview, I saw this graphic on Facebook that said when people who normally have privilege lose their privileges, they feel oppressed. I think for people that are white supremacists, losing the stability of white supremacy by including oppressed groups is hard for them to deal with, and so they lash out by being really racist and violent. I wish I could understand where their anger comes from; it seems to run very deep. I think that people think of Trump as an anomaly, but I don’t think so. I think people have felt this way for centuries. Our country is founded on genocide and slavery, so it’s no coincidence that people want to, for instance, ban Muslims from the country.

I didn’t know how much it would affect me, and I have this fear now that I’ve never had before – it made everything very visceral and real. The work that we do with our communities is so important and I’ve never felt that so strongly as I did after attending that rally. We are really threatening the stability of this country’s oppressive system. And now, people who benefit from this system are lashing out against Black Lives Matter movements, against Immigrant rights movements, against Brown lives and Arab lives and all of these oppressed groups who are trying to have a voice – they’re just not happy about it.

Was the lash out at the Trump rally more prominent with black and brown protestors?

ABSOLUTELY. We actually had a conference call last night to all reflect, and that was something I noticed as a person of color, and also what other people of color talked about in their experience. In my group, three were white and they purposely put me in the middle for that reason – to protect me from the protestors. I saw that in some of the other mixed race groups, the black and brown people were targeted more. The guy that I mentioned that was swung at by the Trump supporter –  he was part of one of the Muslim groups. So, yes, absolutely.

What were your interactions with the police like? Were they helpful?

Um, no, I did not feel protected by the police at all.The police were really rough escorting us outside. But it was one of the first times that someone scared me MORE than the police.

On the call we were on last night, a white activist told us that an officer approached him and was like, ‘Why are you doing this? Why are you breaking up this wonderful rally? Do you want to live your life like this?” I think outside of the cops who were working, there were many more who were just in attendance, off duty. They’re all working together.

Source: @Main_Tain22

Source: @Main_Tain22

I heard Trump directing police on how to take you out.

Yeah, during the first few groups he was like, “Be kind to the protestors.” But by our time (we were the 8th group), Trump was getting really irritated with us and the police couldn’t figure out a quick way to get us out because we were sitting far away from the exits. Trump was like, “Why are you walking them all over the place?” He was frustrated that we had to walk as far as we did to exit.

After you got out of there, I heard there was a march.

I did not take part in the march because I came out late, but I know that the group of people protesting outside blocked some entrances and did the damn thing. I think they got a little harassment from Trump supporters walking by and people in cars, but also got a lot of support.

It was nice to leave that really harsh environment and come out to the people in the streets that were holding it down. We did a report back and checked in on each other, making sure we were all okay.

Have you experienced any backlash since the protest, either on social media or in person?

The next day at my sister’s high school parade, I heard someone say to someone else, “if I ever saw one of those protestors again, I would shoot them.” I heard that then kind of ran away, put my scarf on and didn’t want anyone to recognize me. That’s the only incident I’ve experienced so far, but that was enough for me to decide to lay low for a little bit.

Social media-wise, the night of the protest I was tweeting about it and there were a lot of news sources talking about it. And of course, people will engage with you, often with really backwards arguments that made it not even worth engaging back with them. Also I’ve been reading comments on news articles – never read those. Although one person said I look like a lesbian, which is really a compliment.

Oh YES, I would have taken a screen shot of that and made it my Facebook cover…

Haha yeah, totally.

What message would you send to protestors at future Trump rallies? Any strategies you learned?

What I would tell protestors to do is support each other. Sometimes we can get caught up in our differences and ideological principles, but right now we’re unified for this very specific [and] important reason. I was getting so many encouraging text messages while I was in the rally from people that knew I was there. Those really helped me get through, and like I said, coming out and meeting everyone on the streets was amazing. It was really organized, and I don’t know how it became that organized but it did. What is important is our collective passion – everyone was very passionate about what we were doing. It was awesome.

So yes, my advice would be to support each other. Listen to each other and be collective in the family. I really felt that way around these people that I hadn’t even met. When I met them in real life, after the rally, we ran into each other’s arms, people I had only talked to for a few days.

We’re all in this struggle together.

Police Terror & Sexual Violence against Black women — The Case of Daniel Holtzclaw

originally posted on Workers World

This article contains descriptions of sexual assault and violence which may be triggering to some readers.

On Dec. 11, former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw, 29, was convicted of 18 counts of rape and other charges associated with attacks against 13 Black women.

Holtzclaw crying while listening to his guilty charges on his birthday. Sorrynotsorry bruh.
Holtzclaw crying while listening to his guilty charges on his birthday. Sorrynotsorry bruh.
This conviction stands as a rare legal victory for Black rape victims as well as victims of police violence. Many rapes are never reported, and the few that are seldom result in convictions. Cops who terrorize Black people — harassing, raping, torturing or murdering at will — are even more rarely convicted.

While appalling, these low rates of conviction should come as no surprise to anyone with an understanding of the repressive role the capitalist state — the police, courts and prisons — plays in society. Instead, this case is symbolic of the worst aspects of the sexist “rape culture” of the United States — the system of culture, custom and law that promotes and normalizes rape and violence against women.

As the trial continued and more women testified, a harrowing picture of the officer’s predatory exploitation of authority, power and privilege emerged. Holtzclaw methodically targeted the most vulnerable — poor women, including sex workers with “criminal” or drug addiction histories who he assumed would be unlikely to be believed if they brought forth accusations against him. Using the threat of violence or arrest, Holtzclaw coerced the women into sex acts with him.

One woman reported being forced to perform oral sex on the officer while he made his firearm visible on his belt. Another victim, a 17-year-old girl, testified that he threatened her with an outstanding warrant before raping her on her mother’s front porch. “What am I going to do?” she asked. “Call the cops? He was a cop.” (The Guardian, Nov. 27)

Much of the mainstream media coverage of the case applauds the verdict as an example of justice served against a single “dirty cop.” Holtzclaw’s crimes, however, must be considered in the broader context of the generalized police war on Black people and all people of color.

The sheer number of Black men lynched by police can, at times, lead to the invisibility of the tremendous crimes perpetrated by the state against Black and Brown women and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer community. (Trans* is used with an asterisk to indicate the spectrum of all the different genders of people who do not conform to the either/or of male/female or masculine/feminine.) Normative discussions of power are constructed to embody cisgender (not transgender) masculinity, leaving the contextualization of the violence inflicted on Black women’s bodies a peripheral concern. Certainly, this tendency erases the fact that Black women are the fastest-growing incarcerated demographic in the United States.

While the conviction of this cop should be applauded, the state cannot be relied upon to bring justice for Black women or any oppressed peoples. Far more often, the state is the perpetrator of violence, as in the case of Wanda Jean Allen, a Black woman executed by the state of Oklahoma in 2001. The state apparatus is complicit with racist, historical repression that criminalizes and dehumanizes Black women.

Because of rape culture, gender-specific violence and anti-Black misogyny, police brutality against Black women is often synonymous with sexual assault or harassment. Yet, in order to dismantle systemic and racialized state violence and in order to achieve the liberation of all Black people, it is essential to not only include, but prioritize, the voices and lives of Black women. Holtzclaw’s conviction, though a symbolic victory, is not enough to end institutionalized racist violence against women of color. The struggle must continue until #BlackWomensLivesMatter.

Akwaaba. I’m back!


2015 has been a busy ass year.

I finished my first year of graduate school. I got married. I backpacked in Europe for five weeks. I moved to Chicago. My mom got breast cancer. I bought a MacBook. I hugged my cat.

And I have not touched my blog since May.

I have no shame, for I had to focus on my life outside of WordPress, but I’m ready to get back on track (and not blog for class credit).

So sit back, relax, be patient with me as I update my site and post some new shit.


Help send Womancipation (& crew) to Cuba!

A few of our badass women delegates from Baltimore! Help us get to Cuba:
A few of our badass women delegates from Baltimore fighting for women’s liberation! Help us get to Cuba:

Hi friends! In June, I will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel to Cuba along with 14 other young activists to study with and learn from the FDIM, Cuba’s historic women’s organization. As a Ghanaian feminist and student of Women’s & Gender Studies and African Diaspora studies, I’m particularly interested in learning about & from Afro-Cuban revolutionary women.

To donate & to learn more, visit:

From our crowdfunding page:

Despite facing the immense challenges of the US blockade and unrelenting attacks against its people, the small island nation of Cuba has benefited its own people as well as poor nations across the world with high quality healthcare and education. Cuban women have played a leading role in this revolutionary process. We, as young people from the US, have a lot to learn from them in order to bring their liberatory practices and fighting spirit back to our communities here in the United States. In the words of Raquelle, a Puerto Rican activist from Detroit in our delegation,“There is a common saying in the Spanish speaking world that Cuba and Puerto Rico are the two wings of the same bird – one free and the other shackled by the US. It would be an amazing opportunity to meet the Cuban Women’s International Democratic Federation to learn, build, and grow with them.”

The Daily Weeks 13 & 14

“Research involving people and relationships, both individual and group, needs to be aware that essentially people relate to each other as human beings who come with different experiences, values, assumptions and expectations of self and others.”

Listening spaces: Connecting diverse voices for social action and change by Theresa Lorenzo (NA page 131)

“Many argued that race shouldn’t make much of a difference. And we wanted, too, to write that book, not out of liberal foolishness but out of profound political commitments to class, race, and gender analyses and to ‘what should be.’ And yet, as we listened to our data, the life stories as narrated were so thoroughly drenched in radicalizing discourse that readers couldn’t not know even an ‘anonymous’ informant’s racial group once they read the transcript. Personal stories of violence and family structure, narrative style, people’s histories with money, willingness to trash (publicly) violent men and marriages, access to material resources, relations with kin and the state, descriptions of interactions with the police – were talked through ‘race.’ 

‘Race’ is a place in which poststructuralism and lived realities need to talk. ‘Race’ is a social construction, indeed. But ‘race’ in a racist society bears profound consequences for daily life identity, and social movements and for the ways in which most groups ‘other.’ But how we write about ‘race’ to a deeply race-bound audience worries us. Do we make the category for granted, as if it is unproblematic? By so doing, we (re)inscribe its fixed and essentialist positionality. Do we instead problematize it theoretically, knowing full well its full-bodied impact on daily lives? Yes, ‘race’ is a social construction, but it is do deeply confounded with racism that it bears enormous power in lives and communities. To the informants with whom we spoke, ‘race’ does exist – it saturates every part of their lives. How can we destabilize the notion theoretically at one and the same time as we recognize the lived presence of ‘race’? 

For Whom? Qualitative Research, Representation, and Social Responsibilities by Michelle Fine, Lois Weis, Susan Weseen, and Loonmun Wong (page 176)

Alicia Garza speaking at the Black Worker’s for Justice 32nd annual MLK Support for Labor Banquet

This weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to hear Alicia Garza, one of the cofounders of the BlackLivesMatter movement, speak. She covered the origins of the movement, the nuanced ways that white supremacy oppresses black bodies (state sanctioned violence, the privatization of the prison system, etc), the necessity to specify BLACK lives (as opposed to all lives, because not all lives matter), etc. It was wonderful and humbling, to say the least. As I reflected on parts of her talk the following day, I could not help but think about the implications that the constructions of race have on external interactions. I often hear people say things like “if we just stop talking about race, it will go away” or “race baiting turns americans against each other” (real comments that I copied and pasted from an article about Walter Scott), but I know this is not so. It is easy to condemn others for injecting race into conversations. Or to accuse blacks for playing the race card. Or to teach your children to be “color blind.” But even as we acknowledge that race is a social construction, we cannot live as if race does not exist. Race and racism is certainly socially constructed in origin, yet it has profound material affects on individuals and our society. To answer the question, “how can we destabilize the notion theoretically at one and the same time as we recognize the lived presence of ‘race’?”, perhaps all we can do is acknowledge the social constructedness of race rhetorically while recognizing the reality of its material consequences on lives.

Furthermore, as we bring awareness in our research to the kinds of racialized interactions that can occur between people or groups, we must remember that these interactions vary depending on positionality. When thinking of the recent murder of Walter Scott, and others like him, I think about the ways that state sanctioned violence and the need to enforce the status quo manifests in black lives. It truly is an experience that is saturated in our personhood. From a young age my parents taught me about racism and police brutality. We cannot afford to live color blind lives when the social construction of our society does not exist in this way.

I will end with a comic I made today. My heart feels heavy for Scott, the others before him, and those that will come after.