Hundreds Walk Out To Protest Election Results

Zachary Braaten, Nazlee Radboy, and Matthew Wilcox

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As fifth period drew to a close last Monday, the elephant in the room was the impending walkout — Shorewood’s second in five days. Protesting Donald Trump’s election, students streamed out of classrooms, chanting, “Hey hey, ho ho, Donald Trump has got to go,” “My body, my choice,” “Black Lives Matter,” and other slogans that do not have a home in a school publication. After a mass of teenagers gathered in front of the school, they spilled out onto the sidewalk and migrated to Shoreline’s city hall, where students gave speeches of encouragement and poured out their feelings of fear and anxiety towards the future that characterized the initial response of many minorities to Trump’s election.
Standing to the side of the crowd that collected on the steps of City Hall, sophomore Karl Lapham said, “It’s obviously not going to change anything about the presidency, but it’s a good way to get anger out, and it’s better this than people acting out in class.”
From within the building, watching the sometimes raucous cheers emanating through a wall of double-pane glass, Shoreline City Manager Debbie Tarry expressed her support. “This is a place of the public forum, and available for people to share their viewpoints on a variety of issues, and I really appreciate that the students are doing something constructive for them to make sure their beliefs and values are being shared.”

Protest 2

Students yelled “love trumps hate” in front of Shoreline City Hall

Other encouraging voices were found around the crowd of protesters, like Shoreline resident Mashel and his wife, taking a leisurely stroll down the Interurban Trail with their two small children. A Libyan-born immigrant, Mashel spoke about what he feels is the divisiveness of our next president saying, “[Trump] hates Muslims. He hates peaceful people…He hates everything… He’s trying to separate us but we can live together.” He commented on the scene before him saying, “We’re so happy about this. We encourage you…don’t stop, don’t give up.”
Some students, though, remained at school for sixth period. Explaining his thoughts on staying behind, freshman Thomas Samuel said “I think it’s pointless because Trump was elected already and we need to move on.”
Students did acknowledge the lines their protest toed. “There’s always a certain balance in movements for change [between] how much is respectability politics and how much is making an uproar, and it’s hard to say where exactly that right balance is,” said Loren Stephens, senior. Wing-Yee Law, also a senior, added, “I feel really conflicted because… I understand that this protest [is about] being against a lot of the things that Donald Trump represents, but… it also feels like we’re alienating the other half of the country.”
Despite its chants that sometimes veered into ad hominem attacks, the overall spirit of the walkout was generally one of unity and solidarity, and even some hope — the “community” feeling Shorewood administrators strive to create in classrooms. Brandishing a sign for “A Future to Believe in,” senior Devon Lamoreaux said, “I’m sharing this because we do have a future to believe in, and if you don’t have a future to believe in, then what else is there to believe in?”

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Hundreds Walk Out To Protest Election Results