As darkness moved in, I searched for the light.
A local organizer hosted the People’s Inauguration rally in Williams Park this afternoon. Music helped to heal and move us. Speakers inspired us to action.
The speakers laid out the important issues we should be paying attention to and holding our representatives (including Trump) accountable for. Speaker topics ranged from reproductive rights, labor rights, Muslim rights, environmental issues, and voting rights for former felons.
The crowd was diverse in culture and age.
I took a few messages from the various speakers to heart:
- “Don’t watch the news. Make your own news.” – the activist speaker
- “Democracy is not a spectator sport.” – the environmental speaker
- “Some say we should respect Trump just because he’s President. I’m not going to respect him. I’m going to resist him.” – the union speaker
- Once someone pays for their crime, they should be able to vote. (paraphrased) – the felon rights speaker
Bad things started happening within an hour of the inauguration. The White House removed reference to climate change, civil rights, and LGBT rights. Apparently Melania’s jewelry line is more important. The Trump administration halted a tax cut to homeowners, approved by the Obama administration at the beginning of the month, that would have saved on average $500 a year.
He was just sworn in at noon.
These things, coupled with his Cabinet nominees, and many of his Twitter comments show that we have a lot of work to do. We can’t be complacent. We can’t stop reaching out to our representatives, of which Trump is one.
Thinking about this as I stood surrounded by some of the people I will be working with in the future, I feel hope. Fear and discouragement are there too, but I feel hope. So many people are already pulling together. We must continue to protect our basic human rights. We must not go back 50 or 100 years!
Rallying with the others in Williams Park today gave me hope that we can make a difference. But we must all work to do so.