Wednesday evening, I laid in bed shocked by the 2016 president elect. I read and then re-read Hillary’s speech conceding the presidency to Donald Trump. I felt confused and shaken up, I, like many others, felt sure that secretary Clinton would win by a landslide, and felt so close we could almost celebrate. Yet less than 24 hours later, despite Hillary winning the popular vote, the electoral votes went to Trump. Suddenly, shockingly we live in what is being referred to as ‘Trumps’ America’.
I found myself on social media, and there was an outpouring for change. Many Americans feel robbed, like Hillary is the President for the people, especially after finding out she won the popular vote. I was watching crowds of people in New York protesting, and as I watched it I cried for a country split by fear. In the live video I was watching they chanted “The people united, will never be divided!” Outside of Trump Towers.
That hit me like a train. Suddenly, I knew I had to protest too. The people are stronger than the state, united. Yet divided we fall into line.
Throughout this week one quote has come to mind: when asked in reference to what kind of country America was going to be, Benjamin Franklin replied “A Republic, if you can keep it.”
In a republic, every single vote counts. So did we do Franklin proud and keep our country a republic? I don’t have the answer. But it seems like the electoral college no longer serves us and it’s time to take back our republic.
I would like to share some experiences from the Protest in Los Angeles. The media keeps calling us rioters and has an extreme bias. I also have an extreme bias, which you will get from my dialogue, but as far as events I will share only what I saw with my own eyes and know to be true of the protests I experienced.
Wednesday evening, I arrived at Los Angeles City Hall around 7:30. A large group was already formed. The news station was already there. Signs read things like “this pussy grabs back” in reference to Trumps remarks in regards to the unsolicited grabbing of genitals. We rallied for about one half hour until 8 pm and then took to the streets to march. We shout things like “say it loud, say it clear: immigrants are welcome here!” Or my favorite “the people united, will never be divided!”
I find myself proud of my country. I cry several times from being so proud to see so many people come together for good. We come together and share stories of being queer, or undocumented, or Muslim. Despite our differences, we are united. Despite the anguish in our country, we are united. What surprises me most is that even though we stop traffic, people are putting their fists or even bodies out of their windows to cheer us on, people are honking in unity, people are nodding in agreement. There is love everywhere. We are frustrated with Trumps politics, we are frustrated with the electoral system, but the love never leaves. We shout together, we laugh together, we cry together.
I feel proud to live in a country where we have the right to protest. I feel proud to live in a country where people come together for change. I feel proud.
*****I would like to add: On Wednesday night I left before anyone marched the freeway. Therefore I cannot speak or write about that. I also protested again today and will share that experience when I find more time. We are PEACEFUL. Protesters that become violent are not with us*****