MARCHES AND PROTESTS MARK TURNING POINT IN HISTORY
February 21, 2017
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On Jan. 21, more than four million women and men participated in the Women’s March, the largest recorded protest in U.S. history. The inception of the women’s march was a Facebook event authored by Theresa Shook in Hawaii who was upset with the outcome of the election. The event began to spread not just all over the country, but the world. As it gradually gathered popularity, millions were eager to participate and make their voices be heard.
The Women’s March was originally to take place solely in Washington D.C, but it dispersed across the country. These additional marches became known as “Sister Marches.” An estimated 500,000 people showed up in D.C. alone, and 408 marches took place in the U.S. Additionally there were about 161 marches in 81 different countries around the world. Final estimates show that as many as four million people may have marched, as a whole peacefully, with no arrests made.
The Women’s March was dedicated to protecting legislation and policies regarding basic human rights and other issues such as “women’s rights, immigration reform, LGBTQ+ rights, racial equality, religious freedom, workers’ rights and health care reform.”
Junior Kennedy Robinson said, “I went to the Orlando march, and it was absolutely amazing. It was so exciting to see so many people that were fighting for the same issues that I was. Being a minority, I think it’s really important to make sure that our voices are heard and that we aren’t being taken advantage of.”
Social media such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat were all used at the march so that those who were not able to get directly involved could still see the action.
Junior Adishi Ranjan said, “It’s incredible that so many people participated. It just shows how many people are against the current administration. According to all the news outlets I watched, more people showed up to the women’s march than the inauguration.”
Critics of the Women’s March such as political commenters Kayleigh Mcenany and Jeff Lord have deemed the protests unnecessary and unfair as they have not given President Trump a chance to prove his worth as a president.
However, President Trump has already passed a few controversial bills in his first week in office. He first proposed that the wall be built to keep illegal immigrants from the Mexico and also said that Mexico would be paying for it. President Enrique Peña Nieto said that Mexico and President Trump announced that they were considering a 20 percent wall tax.
Trump’s announcement of the wall led to thousands of people across the country protesting and boycotting. The wall would lead to families being separated and deported. Those who were protesting were heard shouting “build bridges, not walls.”
President Trump shocked the country and the world when he signed an executive order stating that Syrian refugees were banned from entering the United States. In addition, the refugee protection act was to be banned for 120 days, and even people with visas and green cards who were coming from the countries of Libya, Sudan, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, and Yemen were not allowed to enter the United States for the next 90 days.
Protests once more broke out across the country, in which thousands of people stood and marched in front of airports. The protests led to a New York Judge ordering the release of detainees. Among those detained were two Iraqi interpreters who were working with U.S. military troops.
These protests and marches that have been occurring since the inauguration could simply be the beginning of a greater movement for change.