By Phil McMullin
When Donald Trump was elected president, it became clear he would be a catalyst for a new era of liberal activism.
The demonstrations of defiance against our new leader continued this week with the “day without immigrants” protest across the country.
The goal of the protest was to show the United States and President Trump the important contributions immigrants make to our society. To accomplish this, immigrants skipped school, called out of work, closed their businesses and avoided shopping.
Following the election, social media sites have been cluttered with negative posts and memes that often complain about Trump, but rarely affect real change. This protest, organized on social media, has proven that the internet will not simply be a stagnant pool of anger, but a powerful tool to educate, motivate and organize the disenfranchised into a commendable political force.
The New York Times reported that food concessions within the Pentagon were insufficiently staffed due to the protest, forcing government workers to wait longer for a meal. It is unusual but empowering for a protest to have a tangible impact on the daily routines of the government’s elite.
It is too early to determine the full impact of the shopping boycott. However, liberals have been avoiding products produced by members of Trump’s family, causing retailers to discontinue such products despite complaints from the Trumps. The shopping boycott planned by the “day without immigrants” protest indicates this defiant movement will continue to use the power of the dollar as a weapon against injustice.
Lately, there have been several instances of violence and rioting at anti-Trump demonstrations. There have also been instances of passive acceptance of violence against far-right leaders. Notably, there was wide-spread applauding of the assault on Richard Spencer as well as approval expressed by many liberals following the slaughter of a KKK member. This trend toward violence and its acceptance is disturbing, as it not only corrupts the morality of the liberal movement but gives free propaganda to our political opponents to use against us.
The “day without immigrants” has given hope that the anti-Trump demonstrations can organize peacefully and calmly while still being a force to be reckoned with. As the emotional turbulence of the election cycle fades and the liberals prepare for a four-year struggle, I believe these demonstrations will become even more organized and effective.
This week’s protest was emboldening and historical. Anyone interested in fighting against President Trump’s ignorant and arrogant policies should use it as an example for future demonstrations.