by Gary Thompson
Students at West Virginia University at Parkersburg … Where is your voice??? Faculty, staff at WVU Parkersburg … Where is your voice? Why are you silent when the most egregious acts imaginable are being perpetrated against us, our government and our planet?
Across time, across the state, across the country and across the world, Schools, colleges and universities have been, are and should be the hotbeds of protest that leads to social change. In the ’60 and ’70 we, as students, stood up against injustice. We protested, fought and died for what we thought was right. We marched to stop the wanton fouling of our planet in the name of profits. We rallied to stop US participation in a civil war in southeast Asia that was killing American soldiers every day. A war which our country had no intention of ever trying to win. In 1986, after the murder of Nino Aquino, over a million Pilipinos took to the streets protesting the rule of Ferdinand Marcos until he was finally driven from power. And none of us can forget the image of that lone student facing down Chinese tanks in Tiananmen Square in 1989.
All that was history … What’s to protest now, you ask. Wake up! Open your eyes! It’s happening all around you!
Last week students and faculty of WVU in Morgantown joined together to protest the ‘Campus Carry’ bill that is currently working its way through the state legislature. It looks as if that bill will pass. You DON’T KNOW what the ‘Campus Carry’ bill is? If passed and signed by the Governor, this bill will allow anyone with a Concealed Carry Permit to carry a concealed weapon onto the campuses and buildings of colleges and universities across the state. Look around you as you sit in class. Who, sitting in your classroom right now, might be packing heat if this bill goes through? Does that make you nervous? Do you think it would make Emma Gonzales or David Hogg nervous. Who are these people? They happen to be the High School Students leading a nationwide anti-gun movement. They were inspired by the death of 17 friends and classmates at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Fl.
On Jan. 21, 2017, 500,000 people showed up in Washington DC for the first Women’s March. They came to protest the election of Donald Trump. On that same day marches were held in all 50 states; 400,000 showed up in New York, 150,000 in Chicago and over 750,000 in Los Angles. But that wasn’t all; there were Women’s Marches in over 30 foreign countries. There were marches from Antarctica to Zimbabwe. In all, this turned out to be the largest, most attended protest march in history!
If we read the news, the real news, not some twitter feed, we know that the Special Council appointed to investigate Russian interference into the 2016 elections is expected to deliver his report to the Attorney General within the next couple of weeks. We will find out more then, but what do we know now? So far Robert Mueller has indicted six former Trump advisers, 26 Russian nationals, three Russian companies, one California man, and one London-based lawyer. Seven of these people (including five of the six former Trump advisers) have pleaded guilty. The most recent, Roger Stone is accused lying about of communicating with Russian Intelligence officers who were disguised as the hacker Guicifer 2.0, and WikiLeaks. This purportedly happened at just the time WikiLeaks was publishing emails stolen by Russian hackers. Do you suppose Stone told the investigators that he had in fact been communicating with them, and that was a lie so they indicted him? Probably not.
Also recently charged is Paul Manafort, Trump’s Campaign Chair. According to the Washington Post, prosecutors with the special counsel’s office believe that at that meeting, Manafort and Gates provided Kilimnik with “key information” in the form of internal polling data from the Trump campaign. That information could have been vital to assisting Russia in its social media attacks on the U.S. election. Manafort has pled guilty’
And those Women just keep Marching on! The last Women’s March was on Jan. 19, 2019. Don’t worry. There will be more. You can join!
“European students are leading protests against climate change. Americans must do the same.”
That’s the headline from The Diamonback, the University of Maryland student paper from just 2 days ago. What are they talking about? Students in Europe are taking their future into their own hands and demanding that the world take action against global climate change. Here is what 16 year old Greta Thunberg told world leaders and the richest people in the world gathered in Davos, Switzerland recently: “I don’t want you to be hopeful, I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day and then I want you to act. Either we choose to go on as a civilization or we don’t”!
How old are you? Do you care if we go on as a civilization? Read the second line in the headlines from the Diamonback!
So what are you going to do? Get off the couch, there are organizations here in the Mid Ohio Valley that you can get involved with that will give you back your voice. Talk to your friends, talk to your classmates. Talk to your teachers. Everybody wants the world to be a better place, but here is a fact: YOU are the future. YOU are the ones who must make it happen. If YOU don’t care, no one else will.
If you do care, google this: ‘Mid Ohio Valley Climate Action’ or maybe this: ‘Wood County Indivisible’. Claim your right to live in a constitutional democracy, in a country free from gun violence, in a habitable world! Do it now!
Let’s hear your voice!