What Democracy Looks Like
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

What Democracy Looks Like

LA's protest against the DAPL was a beautiful demonstration of the First Amendment.

4
What Democracy Looks Like
Instagram

In the wake of Donald Trump's inauguration, there have been a great many things for liberals and progressives to dread and react against, including the refugee ban and the reactivation of the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. This march had been planned a week or so after the spontaneous demonstrations that blew up after Trump decided to continue the pipeline's construction. I wasn't able to make it to the first protest because it was on a work day and was such short notice for me to drive up to Los Angeles. However a larger and more organized movement downtown was being set up on February 5th and I knew that I didn't want to miss it. The end result was a beautiful demonstration of our rights to free speech and peaceful assembly.

With the pipeline in North Dakota desecrating sacred land belonging to the Lakota and Dakota tribes at Standing Rock, it's appropriate that this movement is being led by members of the local Tongva and Chumash tribes. They began the day's processions by performing traditional songs and dances while lighting up incense as part of their rituals. It was all very atmospheric and prepared us for a very spirited march down the city roads.

When I first arrived at the meeting place at Pershing Square, there was hardly anyone who showed up, just a few of the employees and speakers near the table. Soon enough though, the crowd started to bulge and like magic I was amidst hundreds, if not thousands, of people all chanting in unison to various catchphrases like "We Stand For Standing Rock" and "Up With The People, Down With The Pipeline." We walked for about 45 minutes or so from Pershing Square until we reached a federal court house down the street from City Hall. It was from there that a rally was held and more people got to speak about issues concerning Native Americans and the environment in general.

I unfortunately was not able to attend the historic Women's March which had come about a few weeks earlier, though I feel that both of these marches united disparate groups of people together to fight for a common cause. This was certainly not as large as the Women's March, but there was a certain amount of tranquility throughout all this that I believe is at least somewhat comparable.

A quote that stood out to me from one of the Native American speakers was "we are not protesters, but protectors," which summed up what this whole march was all about. Indigenous Americans and their non-native allies alike stood together in solidarity so that we not only demonstrate our First Amendment rights, but also encourage our brethren at Standing Rock to not give up the fight against corporate greed and environmental degradation.



Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Ronny Salerno

This feeling hurts. I must declare

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

10 Holiday Drinks to Spice Up this December's Movie Binge

After all, isn't it the season of drinking...?

4482
10 Holiday Drinks to Spice Up this December's Movie Binge
https://unsplash.com/photos/d-SeLxF_QF0

Thanksgiving has officially ended which means we are in preparation for the final holidays of the year. December is a busy month, filled with shopping and sales, wrapping gifts, planning family gathering and parties, cooking and baking, holiday movies, and of course, lots of drinking. I know that I will be spending a lot of December watching the ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas,

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Planning Another Christmas Party

Don't just plan another plain party but get creative to have everyone wanting to come back next year!

11808
Getty Famous

You know it's Christmas when the radio stations change to all of your favorite holiday tunes, the air is still, and stores have the best sales. With all my favorite things from Christmas happening my least favorite probably has to be when I have to go to another same old boring Christmas party that I get invited to every year. Here are some Christmas party ideas so that you won't have another sad Christmas party.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

High School Soccer is Wildly Important

For Young Players Who Want to Succeed at The Next Level

15839
High School Soccer is Wildly Important

Whose choice is it? The parent? The player? There are a number of reasons that a kid may sit out of high school soccer, and to be completely honest; It is a huge mistake. High school soccer is the final piece in the puzzle that takes a player from above average or elite, to college ready by the end of their senior year. Every year thousands of talented athletes don't play for their high schools. Why though?

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

8 Things That Should Be On Everyone's Holiday To-Do List

December is around the corner, are you ready?

12052
8 Things That Should Be On Everyone's Holiday To-Do List
Unsplash.com

As they tend to say, its the most wonderful time of the year! People have begun to compile their Christmas to-do lists in anticipation for the season of sugarplums and gingerbread.

The history of the Christmas to-do lists goes back hundreds of years, almost as old as the holiday itself, however, people tend to fall out of this habit as they get older. This is unfortunate, as the theme of Christmas tradition can add bundles of the spirit of joy to your families.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments