Home Social Justice Featured Blog: Applauding the collective action of protesting Trump rallies

Featured Blog: Applauding the collective action of protesting Trump rallies

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I hate giving Donald Trump or his supporters any more attention than I have to, but I feel the topic is relevant. This column has been written to express admiration and encouragement of what took place in Chicago last week. Thousands of activists (emanating from but also extending outward from the left) showed how much power people have when collectively demonstrating to use free speech.

This is going to be a deeply personal piece. Let me get that out of the way in the beginning so we don’t have any illusions about any supposedly righteous, unbiased nature I might have coming into this. That isn’t the case.

The same politics of the left that made me uncomfortable coming into college have become something that I’m particularly passionate about and growing to admire more from a distance than from active participation. Be it for better or worse, my contributions come more from what I can express through my words with a pen, pencil or hovering over a keyboard.

The scuffles aren’t what make me admire the demonstrators and protestors. Not even a little.

My admiration is toward the collective group of Chicagoans who rallied to the cause of voicing their displeasure toward a fanatical movement full of hate and divisiveness. The groups of people demonstrating stood firm in their collective discontent for what had come to their city. They were not there for intimidation. They were not there to fight. The purpose was to use their speech to voice their displeasure.

As the New York Times’ Monica Davey and Julie Bosman noted, “Hundreds of protesters, who had promised to be a visible presence here and filled several sections of the arena, let out an elated, unstopping cheer.”

Protestors continue to organize and use their freedom of speech to voice their displeasure with what they’re seeing in mainstream American politics. Protesters know they are going to be kicked out of these events. They know they face imminent physical harm but they do it anyway.

Among them are white, black, Asian, Latino, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, atheist, queer, young, old or whatever identity marker you want to leave. Seeing them come together is awe-inspiring.

Let’s not get this twisted. This isn’t shutting down speech. The law wasn’t used to tell Donald Trump not to spread his message. The law wasn’t used to tell Trump supporters not to continue loving Trump.

Those in the Trump campaign don’t care about “Making America Great Again.” They realized that any violent scuffles could mean a load of potential damage control on the horizon. That is why they chose to shut down the rally.

I can’t believe I’m writing this sentence in 2016. Donald J. Trump’s success is the observable result of simmering and still-existing white supremacist and xenophobic attitudes and don’t think for a second that a few minority faces and voices make for an inclusive or respectable campaign. Nothing is respectable about Trump supporters. I can reasonably agree or disagree with the validity of the policy ideals, but the sum total of this campaign is idiotic and brings to the surface the ugly underside of the American political spectrum. It’s nothing new.

Seeing protesters come out en masse is impressive and motivating. I applaud all of you who have done it.  The roots of a unified coalition of people who want to fight for Americans and one another regardless of identity is just one shining example. This collective action is a reason to have hope for American politics.

The cheers from protesters in the aftermath of the cancellation of the Chicago event have me beaming. The LA Times’ Kate Linthicum and Kurtis Lee noted the cheers of protesters in the event’s aftermath.

“Some protesters chanted, ‘We stopped Trump,’” he said while others sang the lyrics to a Kendrick Lamar song, “Alright,” which has become an anthem of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Lamar had it right. The protesters had it right. Keep this up and there’s hope for our American political system yet.

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Here are three pieces of interesting media to read/view about the Chicago protestors and the demonstrations and scuffles that led to the cancellation of the Trump rally.

  • This article from Politico’s Keith O’ Brien provides a look into a group of students’ experience at the Chicago Trump rally.
  • Here’s a virtual reality look inside the rally after the announcement of its cancellation from the Chicago Tribune.

Here’s an article from the New York Times about the cancellation of the rally in general.

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  1. […] Chicago protests of Trump March 18 […]

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