Wednesday, November 9th 2016. Campus has never been more silent. Each and every person passing through Spaights Plaza around 11:00 a.m. was had their head down. Hands either in their pockets or scrolling through their phone. Shock. That’s all students are feeling.
Classes were cancelled, in others students were sent home. That shouldn’t be the reaction to a new president. Everyone’s eyes are glazed over, trying to convince themselves that this is a dream. A dystopian society that we never thought we would experience. No matter how red your arm is from pinching it, it doesn’t make it feel any more real. But you have to remind yourself that it is.
Trump supporter or not, you can admit you sort of thought this wouldn’t actually happen. But it did. Although a summary isn’t needed, here it is:
- Donald Trump is our 45th president, come January.
- Republicans now have control of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
- America hasn’t been this red since 2001, when George W. Bush was President.
- Before that, the last time was 1928. The Great Depression followed soon after.
Donald Trump’s threatening rhetoric is now a possible reality for many UWM students, given that we pride ourselves on being one of the most diverse campuses in Wisconsin and the nation. The level of fear is escalated as most people’s ‘worst case scenario’, is now our very real world. And there’s not a damn thing anyone can do about it, or at least it feels that way.
While some campuses protested hours after the results, Milwaukee as a whole didn’t organize until two days later. Whether this was just for planning purposes, or just taking the time to let everything sink in, it’s important that Milwaukee comes together at a time like this.
Progressive People of Milwaukee – UWM (Formerly Youth Empowered in the Struggle) organized a “March Against Trump” for November 10, 2016, starting at Red Arrow Park. That night, the site for Milwaukee’s seasonal ice skating rink became a spot of organization for hundreds of students, workers, parents and more.
The demonstration took over many downtown streets of Milwaukee and even reached to I-94, blocking the freeway. While some people think protests and rallies are ‘useless’ and don’t do any good, it’s important to remember that most demonstrators know that. But it’s a time to come together in solidarity, and show the people (and the media) that there are people who don’t agree with what’s happening right now, and want to ignite a change.
While UWM may be quiet right now, just know that for most of us, there’s a war going on in our mind. A war between being angry at the world, and being motivated to make it better. We may be scared, disappointed and frankly, at a loss for words – but UWM students and beyond need to use this passion for good. Come together, show the world that while America might seem more separated than ever right now, we can still work together for a better future.