The results of Tuesday, November 8th left many people angry, disappointed, and up in arms. Recently, those feelings have been expressed in the form of protests all over the States – including California, Oregon, Florida, Massachusetts, Illinois, Colorado, and many more. Students at DHS have been taking part of these protests and voicing their opinions.
“I protest because I think people need to know that there is resistance; that people really are scared, that the issues are real, and to succumb and ignore the victory of a bigoted administration is hard for me to do,” said Jr. Sierra Kelly, who attended Mike Pence’s rally before the election to protest.
Many of the protesters feel that this is their way of being heard, since they cannot vote. It is a way to advocate for themselves and for others who cannot do so.
“It’s important to protest because as someone with privilege in this society, I feel like it is my responsibility as a human being to stand up and advocate for other people who do not share my privilege,” said Kelly. “I don’t see the point in having that privilege if not everyone can live safely and comfortably like I fortunately get to.”
There are a variety 0f reasons that cause people to protest, and all seem to be pretty strong motivators. Donald Trump’s statements on women, hispanics, Muslims, and the LGBTQ community have not been pleasing to a large majority of the population. This, in addition to his apparent xenophobia and lack of respect for the environment, have driven many people to take to the streets to show their objection to President-elect Trump and his ideals.
17 year old Carter James lives in Boston, Massachusetts and has attended several protests where he and others voiced their thoughts through catchy chants, such as “not my president”.
“He’s giving a voice to hate, which has sparked fear,” James said. “Peers of mine that before didn’t spew hateful words (because they knew they were morally wrong) now feel as though they have a pass to be racist, homophobic, sexist, and discriminatory, because they now have a leader that encourages that behavior.”
The media has reported ups in violence and attacks on LGBTQ or people of different racial backgrounds since Trump’s election. As in most situations, the backlash is not completely one sided. Although most protests have remained peaceful, many have ended in arrests and injured officers.
However, protesters remarked on the unification that is occurring. James, like many others, emphasized coming together to speak out for the sake of those who don’t have a voice.
“Although I do believe that with this outcome, more people are coming together to stand up against this hate that frankly has always been there, it just hasn’t been voiced,” said James. “I’m lucky to live in a place where I can express how I feel and be heard.”
Protesters definitely seem to have something in mind for the result of these protests. One of their goals is to bring attention to America’s democracy; specifically system of the electoral college, which they find unjust.
“I think that consistent protests force people into listening,” said Jr. Quinn Luthy, who protested at the Mike Pence rally and in Portland, Oregon in the days following the election. “In Portland, protesters have blocked downtown almost every night consistently since the election; it is a pretty obvious prescribe that is hard for people to ignore.”
Luthy talked about how important it is to not let the fire of the protests die down. He doesn’t want people to get used to Trump, as he is not a normal candidate. It’s good, Luthy says, to understand where everyone is coming from and talk to Trump supporters about their motivations for that support.
When questioned on the long term goals of these protests, protesters mentioned securing abortion rights, equal pay for women, and protection from police brutality, hate crimes, discrimination. Their goal is to have these secured on a state level, making it harder for Trump to be enabled to do make the decisions protesters dislike.
“I hope these protests inspire others to stand up and make a difference,” said Jr. Jenna Szczech, another DHS student who protested at the Pence rally. “Don’t be ashamed of your beliefs.”