The East Vision

Stand up for what you believe in

Ben Sagritalo, Opinion Editor

Since being sworn in as the 45th President on January 20, 2017, the United States has been under Donald Trump’s leadership. And while I wouldn’t say that many positive changes have occurred in our country in the last 14 months, I will give Trump credit for one: inspiring people to stand up.

This was immediately obvious just a day after his inauguration, when nearly a million protesters descended on our nation’s capitol for the Women’s March on Washington to display their opposition to Trump’s support for anti-women policies and history of sexist statements. Nearly 5 million others stood up and marched in solidarity in sister marches across the country the same day.

Students and young people can create real change.”

— Ben Sagritalo, Opinion Editor

America’s activist streak didn’t end there. Following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida on Valentine’s day, the survivors of the massacre stood up. Reeling from the deaths of 17 members of their school community, several Stoneman Douglas students appeared on news outlets to show their displeasure with the abundance of mass shootings in our country and in remembrance of their peers. But their impact didn’t end there. They turned their anger and grief into a movement, culminating with the nationwide school walkout on March 14 and the March for Our Lives on March 25.

I am proud to have marched last weekend, but it shouldn’t take the death of dozens of students to justify standing up for what we believe in. As established in the First Amendment of our constitution, Americans have the right to free speech and the right to assemble. We shouldn’t restrict those most American of rights to moments of crisis; instead, we should be utilizing them every day.

Whatever your beliefs are, you should stand up and make your voice heard. As the millions of people who marched this weekend can show, students and young people can create real change. Students and young people can create real change.

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