Since the inauguration of President Trump in January, his opposition has constantly demonstrated their First Amendment right to protest peacefully. For every Executive Order, press briefing, and tweet doled out by Trump’s administration, there are people in the streets fighting back for what they believe is right. Almost two months following the inauguration of our new President, the energy has yet to die down, and I believe protests will continue as long as the Trump administration stands behind their current controversial policies. The day after the induction of the new administration, the Women’s March broke records, with millions in attendance worldwide at the over 600 sister marches to the March on Washington. Since then, there have been protests not only in the United States but all over the world in defiance of the travel ban on Muslims, the construction of American pipelines, and the roll back on the protection of transgender rights. The pace may seem intense, but compared to the amount that President Trump has done with his short time in office, it adds up.
In the age of social media, the organization and demonstration of protests are easier than ever before, acting as a tool for those who want their voices heard. Rallies all over the country can be found by looking at Facebook groups or searching through hashtags on Twitter. When it is as simple as it is now to get involved, those who are able to participate often jump at the chance. Our country is one that has a history of protesting what they believe in, with many finding their individual voices by participating in the crowd and demanding to be heard. America’s youth is especially coming forward, standing up for what they want their futures to look like. Parents are bringing their toddlers to protests and teaching them the steps to becoming activists. When people are being raised in such a manner, they are most likely to continue these habits as they get older. Whereas the current generation of high schoolers did not grow up in such polemical times, children currently in elementary school are more aware of politics than many would believe. Growing up in a time of controversy and activism is no small influence.
Our political climate has been described in the recent past by both parties as “heated.” As long as our state of politics remains, people will continue to speak out both to be heard and to protest what is being enacted. The idea of what is normal remains ambiguous, but the implications of the behavior of the American people are indisputable. With years remaining with Donald Trump as our president, it is nearly impossible to predict what is still to come, both from the government and the people. The amount of action that is currently occurring may seem unsustainable, but as long as there continue to be people who may be disenfranchised by the direction in which our country is headed, there will be marches and speeches and chants and noise. The people will not be silent.
Graphics: Jessica Chang