On activism, protesting the presidency

ETHAN COSTELLO |coste012@rangers.uwp.edu

On Tuesday April 18, the President of the United States visited Kenosha. That is the first time that the President has visited the area since his inauguration into office. His visit meant a great deal to a great many people: for him and against him. For myself, I saw no other option but to publicly voice my dissent.

Why we protest

The reason for our protest is not entirely arbitrary to his visit. The opportunity in him coming to our city opened up doors for many progressives to get out and show the nation that we are not okay with his presidency.

We protest because the president has shown an increasing trend towards opacity of his administration: his slander of journalists and the media—of whose purpose is to hold those in power accountable—and his refusal to release the White House guest list, which was general procedure.

We protest because he has taken measures to slash funding for vital programs from the arts to the sciences. According to the Trump administration’s official proposed budget titled “America First”, there is a $54 billion increase in defense spending, meaning the same amount is being reduced in non-defense related departments.

A March 16 report by NPR notes that the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA, the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities—which could be eliminated entirely—and the National Institutes of Health are all looking at massive cuts in funding.

We protest because his stance on women’s rights(the defunding of Planned Parenthood which provides vital services to women and which none of state and federal funding was allocated for abortions) and LGBTQ rights is unsupportive and in fact harmful.

Civil disobedience

Environmentalist and philosopher Henry David Thoreau calls us to resist unjust law in his essay Civil Disobedience. I call all of you to do the same.

“Unjust laws exist; shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?” Thoreau questions. It is up to the individual whether one sees it necessary to protest. It is another question to decide whether it is worth breaking the law to affect that good change.

Whatever it be, never settle for complacency. Stay active, get involved, change policy and resist.

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