America seems to be in a bit of turmoil lately. The current administration has an interesting grasp at what “America the Beautiful” should be and the reactions are pouring in. Now, although the president evidently has a large number of supporters, it’s no secret that those who’ve opposed him are making some noise. That “noise” is being made by vast political protests that are emerging all across the country. Not only is this political passion being exemplified in the United States, it’s making its way all around the world. However, there are many critiquing the protests. Some are even saying that these protests are done in vain, but the reality is much different. The sole foundation of this country was created by protesting. Don’t believe me? Well, how about a quick history refresher? I mean, we can’t expect to be influential people of the world without having some true knowledge within us, my darlings. Also, intelligence is attractive AF. So, let me help increase your sexy bar right now.
Boston Tea Party
Ah, yes. The good ol’ Boston Tea Party. I know for the most part it sounds adorable, but that’s far from the truth. The Boston Tea Party was a political protest against taxation in the year 1773. The protest aimed for the British Parliament’s Tea Act of 1773, which greatly lowered the taxes of the English company, British East India Company, giving them access to easily monopolize American colonies. How dare they? Unsurprisingly, the American people were furious (I would’ve been too!).
Due to that, the Americans decided to angrily dump 342 chests of tea that had been imported by the British tea company into the ocean. An estimated $18,000 worth of tea was thrown overboard — or in other terms, $400,000 in today’s currency. This was an extremely brave act on the American side because the United States didn’t have the leverage it has today. At that time, the British owned most of the American land. Undoubtedly, this act of rebellion started shaping the America we know today, one who isn’t afraid to stand up to others, despite how it may be perceived. If this act of protest wouldn’t have occurred, then it would’ve taken longer for the United States to have been established and independecized. Wild, right?
March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom
Most of us should know about this. But, just in case you don’t, (it’s understandable, history can be a total bore!) I’ll fill you in. So, this march laced with political passion was conducted on August 28th, 1963. It was arranged in order to bring awareness to civil rights issues that needed urgent attention from the White House.
This historic moment was led by six large organizations, which later became known as the “Big Six.” The organizers of the “Big Six” were James Farmer of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), Martin Luther King, Jr. of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), John Lewis of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), A. Philip Randolph of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, Roy Wilkins of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and Whitney Young, Jr. of the National Urban League. This is the same event where the famous speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” was born. On this day, the participants peacefully marched through the streets to get recognition. Even though it was done peacefully, it was still criticized by many.
Nevertheless, they pushed through and held their heads high. That day they marched to demand civil rights legislations, such as the removal of racial segregation in public schools, the protection for activists against police brutality, the passage of a law prohibiting racial discrimination in public and private hiring, a $2 an hour minimum wage, amongst other civil rights legislations that targeted basic human rights and equality. To this day, the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom is still considered one of the most influential protests the United States has seen, mainly because of its nonviolent demeanor. Sadly, civil rights are still an issue in our current political climate, but we are going to continue making strides for complete equality someday.
Women’s Suffrage Movement
Nowadays, women have a much more prominent place in society than before. Don’t get carried away with that statement, though. We still are incredibly underpaid and discriminated against! Anyway, less than 100 years ago, women weren’t allowed to vote. This meant we didn’t have the slightest bit of voice in our nation unless that voice was saying that the food was ready. Can you ever imagine living in a time like that? We must thank all of the progress we currently relish into the strong women of those times, including Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony.
During those times, these women became vocal about the importance of having women’s rights by starting and leading the Women’s Suffrage movement. The Women’s Suffrage movement targeted women’s rights which included ending pay discrimination, extreme divorce laws, and voting rights. This movement began in the first women’s rights convention, the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848. After holding that convention, these women spent the next several years trying to gain rights that were constantly restricted from them and other women. Finally, in the year 1920, they were able to persuade the United States to give women the right to vote. Monumental recognition was given to the women who persevered and stayed strong to their beliefs. Of course, this wouldn’t have been possible without the many protests that took place during those times.
It is also important to note that the women involved in this movement weren’t just protesting for the hell of it. They had a plan and thoroughly prepared themselves in order to excel. Without a doubt, the fact that they pushed and supported their arguments was one of the biggest components of their success. For instance, one of the reasons they used to persuade Congress was that the women’s vote would provide the nurturing side of the nation. Another argument that these women used was that they could help keep laws impartial because of their different points of views. It just goes to show that believing in anything is possible if you are willing to work hard for it. These women are definitely an inspiration. Seriously, they were bosses ahead of their time and I’m all for that.
As you’ve just learned, you must’ve realized that the United States has hosted its share of protests and marches. That’s why it shouldn’t be surprising that protests are still part of our culture. In actuality, recent history has allowed us to witness the largest march the United States had ever seen — The Women’s March of 2016. Again, this march was successful due to the planning prior to it. See, in order for the march to run smoothly, the organization of the Women’s March began almost immediately after Donald Trump won the election. The people behind the scenes knew they didn’t want chaos and had to make that part of their goal.
The organizers of the Women’s March and the Justice Department projected a maximum of 500,000 attendees for this march. Instead, the Women’s March was joined by about 5 million supporters worldwide (including myself!) with just 2 million supporters in D.C. Just stop and think about the significance of that. The Women’s March aimed opposition of the views that the newly chosen president had addressed to the United States. The march allowed Trump’s administration to recognize that the larger portion of the nation felt strongly about human rights issues. Some of these included LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, immigration reformation laws, and climate laws. Thanks to that march, the nation has imprinted an agenda where resistance towards oppression and hate is the main component. Isn’t it satisfying to know how much weight our voices have on the nation?
It has become evident that protesting is as prominent as ever. Sure, sometimes the effect of protesting may not be immediate, but that’s quite alright. This allows people to learn new tactics in order to get the results they want. In fact, we can learn about persistence and determination from the historical movements of the past. Also, ignore anyone who tries to judge you for your political passion. Forget them. Protesting has been around longer than people’s close-minded thoughts. This is nothing new, so just push through whatever you believe in. Organize a protest if you must, but do it properly. Just make sure that whatever you’re passionate about aligns with the betterment of society and that it doesn’t hinder any human rights. It’s up to us after all. Remember: “We the people.” So, will I see you at the 4th Annual Women’s March.