On Monday November 14th, thousands of Seattle students partook in a citywide walkout that was called to protest Trump’s racism, sexism, misogyny, and outright bigotry. Several schools including: Garfield, Franklin, West Seattle, Center School, and Nova gathered in solidarity at Cal Anderson Park in Capitol Hill and marched downtown. Students lead chants such as, “we reject the president elect” and “our body, our choice” as well as “say it loud say it clear, refugees are welcome here”. For many this was their very first protest.
As individuals our voices may not be heard, but as a collective group taking a stand, we roar. Once we arrived at Westlake Center the students called for everyone to sit down. “We’re blocking this intersection and we are taking a seat!” As soon as we sat down, people stuck in traffic began honking their horns, not out of anger, but rather because they were excited to see the beauty of the younger generation taking a stand (or in this case, a seat). The horns were honking, the students were cheering and at that moment these students were no longer seen as students, they were seen as young fighters against Trump’s bigotry, and that was cause for celebration indeed!
As a student at Seattle Central College and a member of Socialist Students and Socialist Alternative, it was empowering to see my generation standing in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are most under attack by Trumps twisted agenda.
At the end of the march we gathered at Westlake Park where the youth shared their thoughts. One young activist announced, “This system was made to be racist and this system is doing exactly what it was made for!” If I have learned anything from this experience it is that the youth are more than ready to take part in political change, the only thing missing is leadership.
We need to build the resistance against Trump! On Jan. 20th, Trump’s inauguration day, we need to be out in the streets fighting for our future, one free from hate, with mass protests and student walkouts. The protests that broke out immediately following Trump’s victory, along with the overwhelming support from young people for Bernie Sanders in the primaries, shows that Trump by NO means represents the majority of society. The Democratic Party has shown us that they cannot be relied on to fight Trump’s bigotry, and that they were more scared of electing a president that wasn’t for sale to big business – Bernie Sanders – than they were of a Trump presidency.
We are taught that the U.S. is the most democratic country in the world, but the reality is that democracy in the hands of the two party system is gamed to benefit the ruling elite. Wikileaks totally exposed this and the hostility and determination of the Democratic Party to crush the Sanders campaign and what it stood for. If working people had a real voice, we wouldn’t be forced to choose between the worst and the second worst. Big business controls both political parties, so its priorities are valued over the majority of people, especially the working class. Karl Marx once said, “The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.” This election has sparked a flame and we are the fire, we are burning for a future to believe in. It is time for a party of the 99%. Young people are leading the way to demand that our voices are heard!