The following article was posted after the downtown Waco protest on January 20th:
By CASSIE L. SMITH firstname.lastname@example.org
Alan Northcutt said he has repeatedly heard from other people that he should give President Donald Trump a chance.
“This man nominates a white supremacist as his chief strategist. So if that’s his strategy, well he’s had his chance and he’s blown it already,” the Waco Friends of Peace/Climate director said. “This nonsense about a kinder gentler Trump, it’s nonsense. We have to start out on day one opposing his dangerous policies.”
More than 250 people gathered Friday evening in downtown Waco on the day of Trump’s inauguration as the 45th president of the United States to protest his policy proposals and administration selections.
The event — which included music and cookies — was sponsored by the Waco Friends of Peace/Climate, the Baylor Democrats, InterWaco, Stonewall Democrats of Central Texas and the North East Riverside Neighborhood Association. Handmade signs colored the crowd, some reading “Make America Kind Again,” “Keep Your Tiny Hands off my Rights,” “If I were to remain silent, I would be guilty of complicity,” and “Sorry for the inconvenience we are trying to change the world.”
Music from Venus Envy, Tea Aguilar, Stumblin’ Jaxon and others filled Heritage Square along with speeches and poetry.
The groups organized the event because of deep concerns about Trump’s “lack of qualifications, racism, xenophobia, misogyny, dishonesty, conflicts of interest and attacks on freedom of speech and on freedom of the press,” according to the event description.
“We believe his agenda endangers our country on many issues: climate change, nuclear proliferation, civil rights, immigrant rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, minimum wage, economic inequality, health care, public education and net neutrality,” the description states.
Waco attorney David Schleicher told the crowd they were brought together by their love of country, the planet and fellow humans. The event continued an American tradition that dates back to 1853: protesting on Inauguration Day.
“I want to thank you for showing the extra dose it takes to protest where you live and work,” Schleicher said. “If Trump’s words and deeds seem to you abnormal, know that you are one of plenty, who will not shut up, give up, nor look away from today all the way until 2020.”
To those who question the point of protesting after someone has been elected to office, Kristen “Monae” Mouton said there’s never a time she will just accept misogyny, racism and xenophobia. She never wants to accept a world that constantly dehumanizes people or a president who allows his supporters to do the same, said Mouton, the Baylor University NAACP political action committee chair and Diverse Verses vice president.
“Voting for Trump was an act of racism,” she said. “Even if you your self don’t consider yourself racist, you let that go to the back burner. You said that wasn’t a big enough thing for you to not vote for someone, that wasn’t as important as economics or any of the other things you vote for.”
Black Poets Society President Saddiq Granger said he hopes the event helps connect organizations in the area, so when there’s a threat to one community, it becomes a threat to all communities. Granger said he hopes to learn as he goes and hopes others are inspired to become more engaged.
“We have four years at least. It’s time to work,” he said.
Northcutt said he considered traveling to Washington, D.C., to protest but felt it was important for Waco to have the opportunity to share its voice. He said he has lived in the city more than 30 years and has seen the growth of progressives and liberal groups in the area.
“A lot of people may be progressive but in this town they are even afraid to say so,” Northcutt said. “So this is awesome that all of you have come out and been willing to do this and state your beliefs very publicly. I think it’s a good solidarity move for everyone here.”
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