Saturday, January 21, 2017
Today I am grateful for peaceful protesters. I wish I was one of them, but we’ve already been down that road this week so I won’t get all maudlin now.
Today I suspect will be the largest ever display of peaceful protest across our nation in a single day. Many of you are headed to our nation’s capital in Washington D.C., or other cities around the country like Philadelphia, New York, Boston and Madison. You are peacefully protesting because you feel strongly that you must. This is not only your right as an American citizen, it is your responsibility. If we lose this right, along with freedom of speech and others, the game will be lost. . .tossed out with the rest of the important issues headed for the chopping block. We can’t let that happen. And won’t. I am proud of each and every one of you for taking this stand. Be proud!
Buy also be safe. I have concerns so I googled Field Trip Rules, then tweaked them a bit:
- Have a buddy. Go nowhere, not even to the bathroom without your buddy. Stay together. Have each other’s phone numbers in your phones, but also have them written on a piece of tape attached to the inside of your clothing or on a piece of paper stuck in your shoe. Write their name, relationship, phone number and even the bus company name and license or number of the bus you came in on, in case you get separated, especially if you are bringing children.
- Be kind. Don’t push, argue or get angry if things don’t move as quickly. . .or slowly, as you would like. If you can’t keep up, ask your buddy to hold back with you. It’s okay. You’re there and that’s the main thing.
- Be on time. If your group says they are leaving at a certain time, don’t make them wait for you. You don’t want the bus to leave without you, or cause people to worry.
- Be conscious of your surroundings and the people in them. If it looks like someone is making a bad choice, remove yourself (and your buddy) from the situation and get the help of an official. If running seems the best option, then run. There is also no shame in ducking or hiding.
- Be safe. Don’t accept a drink or food, or hold anything from a stranger. Do not allow anyone to agitate you to the point of lashing out in a way that goes against your character and cause.
- Be loud. . .but calm and controlled.
- Respect property. It is never okay to destroy property. No matter what your cause. Remember you are guests in whatever city you are visiting so please conduct yourselves accordingly.
- Have fun. The whole objective of this trip is to learn, while also teaching others. Be a good teacher and an anxious learner.
- Use your very best manners. Remember that you are not only representing your/our cause, but also those of us who were unable to be there standing shoulder-to-shoulder with you. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
- Be in the moment. Take some pictures on the way there, a few at the event and some on the way home, but then put your camera/phone away. You can’t experience your OWN moment (or be fully aware of dicey situations) if you are worried about capturing it for us, or worse for posterities sake.
Have the best time ever and remember that many of us wish we could join you and will be with you in the truly American spirit of peaceful protest.