Protesting, a cornerstone of democracy

Many of you have probably heard about the millions of women protesting Trump’s presidency around the world. Maybe you have seen people posting on social media that they should get over the election of Trump; that protesting does not change a thing. I’m here to say that they are simply wrong.

Let me take you back to American History, circa your elementary school days. Our country was founded on a protest. Before there was the United States of America, there was the English thirteen colonies. In 1773, many were fed up with a taxation without representation  (should be engrained in your minds by now). The Sons of Liberty went into the Boston Harbor, boarded the ships that held the precious cargo and dumped all 342 cases into the harbor. Many historians report this was the tipping point that led England and the 13 colonies to the Revolutionary War. In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed (although the Revolutionary War ended in 1783 with an official US victory). The founding of the US would not have been set in motion without the resistance of the Boston Tea Party. The Boston Tea Party was a protest, alike the protests we are seeing since the inauguration of Trump.

All movements of in history that propelled the US towards progress started at a grassroots level. Civil rights movement and suffragette movement started with protests and other forms of political action. People were engaged and aware of the oppression and wouldn’t let it silence them any longer.

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I attended an anti-Bannon protest with the Jewish resistance in Philadelphia on Nov 22. We protested in front of Senator Pat Toomey’s office. 

People being oppressed by their government are given a voice through taking to the streets and protesting. This reminds politicians that they are public servants meant to better the country for their constituents. Politicians represent you. They work for you. Remember when reelection time comes around, you have the power stop oust those who don’t represent your best interests. You have a chance to vote some of them out of office in 2018. We have the power to voice our concerns and share our stories in the meantime.

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We laid white roses on the steps to signify the White Rose Movement that spoke up against Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. 

It is hard not to get discouraged about the country’s current state of affairs. Stay educated and stay politically involved. Call your senators and encourage them to vote “no” on some of Trump’s most destructive cabinet picks. Call and write to your representative and encourage them to vote “no” on bills that will inevitably be sponsored and created to set this country back hundreds of years. Read up on the political process and stories from reputable news sources. Sign petitions online and in person. Donate to organizations that support women, ethnic and religious minorities, LGBTQIA+ community, people with disabilities, refugees, and trans people. Volunteer your extra time at a local charity. Boycott companies that support Trump. Be mindful of the environment and your energy use. Don’t be complacent and let an oligarch control this country because you feel helpless that he won the presidency. The time to act is now.

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