We asked four Fort Lewis College students about their recent participation in Donald Trump protests around Durango. Here’s what they had to say about why they’re angry, what might change under the new administration and what young people can do to help.
Why are you protesting the president-elect?The billionaires and governments have made so many people feel silenced. When we protest, we make noise and draw attention to our causes … something that is louder than our votes. When we protest, we are noticed, and we give our cause a voice.
Sarah Adams, junior and sociology major at FLCAs a female, I honestly feel scared and worried about our future, knowing that someone who was accused of sexual assault can be voted president.
Mara Dan-Weber, sophomore and psychology/gender & women’s studies major at FLCI am protesting Donald Trump not because I think it will get him out of office, but because he and his administration need to know that we will not take this loss sitting down. We will not sit back for the next four years and let the country lose the progress it made during the Obama administration. We will stand up for what we believe in throughout his presidency and be a wall Trump must get through if he plans on doing anything that is dangerous for the people or the planet.
Katrina Rachwitz, junior and environmental studies major at FLCThe election of Trump has exposed America’s tolerance or blatant acceptance of racial, gender and religious supremacy. America has always struggled with equality, from the continued mistreatment of Native Americans (such as the conflict in Standing Rock), to the enslavement of Africans, to racial police brutality. The colonial attitude has been adopted by our nation and has reinforced the upbringing of an elite race or economic class. I am protesting because I have friends who are concerned for their personal safety due to their race, religion or sexual orientation. No one should be fearful to be who they are. I am not going to idly sit by as people’s differences are ostracized or condemned. None of us should.
Amaya McKenna, sophomore and environmental studies/philosophy major at FLC
What do you think will change under Trump’s new administration? Since I was a child, I’ve had a fear of the planet’s destruction. I’ve always wanted to resist this and believe it was my own paranoia, but Trump’s presidency makes this fear very real. Children have seen that a man can be a criminal, sexually harassing and humiliating women, and still be the president. It’s hard to know what will happen, but I am scared.
Sarah AdamsI sadly think there will be a lot of negative change. I’m really worried about our environment, and our human rights. The only positive I can see is this election will bring a new revolution. I think a lot of people aren’t happy with this choice, and how the Electoral College and DNC impacted the election.
Mara Dan-WeberThere are many things that are in danger, from human equality to environmental health. Trump is a supporter of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the country has been uniting to protect the land, water and people. I believe this is a wake-up call for the country, that we can no longer be passive. We must stand up and fight.
Katrina RachwitzTrump’s administration is not only a threat to those of us who are unlike him, but also to the environment and to the stability of the world. Our new president believes that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese, which is a cause for concern amongst environmentalists and logical thinkers alike. My fellow peers who are in the environmental studies field are worried about future employment opportunities and the state of the world’s climate with Trump’s plan to increase extraction and usage of fossil fuels. The continued reliance on fossil fuels will lead to more standoffs like the one we see in the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.
What can young people do to oppose harmful changes that might be enacted in our country over the next four years?Young people are always the voice of the revolution … but in this circumstance, things are different. We are going to initiate a new era – a new age – but it can only be done with resilient action and compassion. We will lead the revolution with love in order to create the New Earth. Things always get worse before they get better.
Sarah AdamsI think rallying is important. I also think it is important to learn about local politics. You should know who your representative is. People think local politics don’t go a long way, but they do.
Mara Dan-WeberAs young people, we have to stand up for things that we don’t agree with. If we don’t take action, nothing will change. Humanity needs us to rise up more than ever, and the Earth needs us to protect her more than ever. Contentment does not yield results, only unwilling complacency. United, we are a powerful force that can demand action and spur a revolution. Let’s dedicate the next four years to peaceful resistance and united collective efforts. We, like the following generations, are the ones that will be directly impacted by changes made during Trump’s presidency. We have a responsibility to keep the fight for social justice, racial equality, gender parity and environmental protection alive – not only for ourselves, but for our children.
Interviews by DGO Staff Writer Anya Jaremko-Greenwold.