I Attended An Anti-Trump Protest And It Was An Amazing Experience

I Attended An Anti-Trump Protest And It Was An Amazing Experience

Staying silent encourages hate.

On Friday, November 11th, I attended a peaceful Anti-Trump protest. It was one of the best experiences of my life.

It was a chilly afternoon, but the love and support of our fellow protesters and some encouraging passerby's kept us warm. We assembled to protest many things: the DAPL, the electoral college, women/minority safety, LGBTQIA+ rights and most importantly, to protest our new president elect.

Throughout the 4 hours that we were out there, we had very mixed reactions from the people driving by. While some where filled with love and encouragement, some where also very negative. There were multiple instances of people yelling, "F*ck you!" and, "Get a job," (which is funny because most of us actually have jobs). One person even went as far as yelling at us and calling us "f*ggots". But no matter what negative things people yelled at us, we always responded with, "We love you anyway!"

The love definitely outweighed the hate, as many passerby's even joined in. One man, who was a homeless war vet from Poland, even went as far as joining us before hand, telling us the story of how he came to America, and how dissatisfied he was with some of Trump's plans for his next 4 years as President. He told us his first "battle scar" he got was actually from when he was living on the streets of New York when someone threw a rock at him out of spite. However, despite all the hateful people he had encountered in his life, he was one of the most positive people I've ever met.

We weren't out there to get Trump removed from his future presidency, but instead to show that we wont stand idly by and allow racism, sexism, homophobia, and overall prejudice run this country. It is 2016 and there is no room in the United States for these things. We aren't "crybabies" or "sore losers," but instead we are a people who unite to show that we should be accepting of all races, genders, and sexualities. It's important to exercise your right to free speech and protest because we need to show we won't let racism become a bigger problem than it already is, and that we need to stand up for what we believe in. As socialists, it is important to us that we organize and increase class consciousness as an effective way of standing against a Trump-Pence presidency. Staying silent encourages hate.

Sara Beatty, a 22 year old from Southern Illinois, put this protest together. She made extra signs for people who didn't have time to make some, collected donations for homeless winter care-packages, and is in the process of turning her home into a safe space for members of the LQBT community, Muslims, and POC's who feel unsafe because of the recent election. She's a wonderful person who is taking time and money to make others feel safe and welcomed.

If you are interested in helping stand against them, Democratic Socialists of America and Socialist Alternative are two leftist organizations that are active in protesting the new presidency. Many local labor unions are likely to be socialist leaning and potentially protesting as well. One such event is a nationwide walk-out general strike on January 20th, 2017, in order to protest the inauguration of Trump.

Cover Image Credit: Eli Xavier Scherer

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.

It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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All Good Things Are Wild And Free, Right?

Free your soul and be happy.

The word 'free' can allude to many things. My mom always says that nothing is ever free. But what about your soul? Is it free? Does everyone have a free soul? I think that everyone has the potential to have a free soul but whether or not they decide to live that lifestyle is up to them.

Until recently, I never thought of myself as a free spirit, but I am. Although I didn’t begin with a free soul, I evolved into one. Life throws you trials and tribulations and it's meant for you to grow from these obstacles. And I have.

People always question me about my careless attitude. Careless meaning that I don’t care what others think. I never actually answer the question, but here’s the answer: once you figure out that you can’t make everyone happy by the decisions you make and start doing the things that make you happy is when you become free from others.

The phrase “damned if you, damned if you don’t” applies here perfectly. People will find something wrong with you and your life decisions no matter what you decide. There’s no way to make everyone happy, it's just not possible.

I don’t wake up in the mornings to please anyone but myself. To have a free soul you must do the things that make you and you alone happy.

Free souls are happy souls. Finding inner happiness takes time. It takes being at rock bottom to find your own happiness. Being happy within means that you don’t have to rely on anyone to be happy, and that’s how it should be.

When you give other people the privilege of holding the key to your happiness chances are they’ll fail you. Other people can contribute to your overall happiness but always remember who you are and put your happiness first because if you’re not happy with yourself then how do you expect to keep someone else happy?

Do you, boo. It’s so cheesy, I know, but it’s how to keep you and your soul free from others control. Live your life and live it like there’s no tomorrow. Don’t live your days full of worry, regret, and unhappiness. Do the things that are necessary for you to be happy, who cares what other people think. If you’re unhappy and they’re happy, how is this benefitting you? It’s not.

Be selfish. Be selfish with your happiness and your freedom.

You don’t owe anything to anyone. Once you figure out that your own happiness should come first that’s when you begin to be free. And just a hint, the people that you’re trying so hard to please and make happy, don’t care about your happiness. So why should you care about theirs?

If you want to be free, then do you. Do the things that make you happy, stop caring about what others think. Find that inner happiness that is guaranteed every day, because it’s your own.

Cover Image Credit: Kallee Gambrel

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