2016 election presidential election

Chicago Protest: Piotr's Journey

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 Jen Lezan

We asked 5 protestors about their journey to the Michigan Ave. protests in Chicago. We wanted to showcase their journey, their experiences and why they were involved. Here's Piotr's story. 

Photography by: Perry Fish

1. Why did you decide to attend the protests in Chicago?

My partner, his sister, and I were heading to a venue in Chicago nearby the protest rally point (Trump Tower). We observed out of curiosity.

2. What was your experience like and what was the overall atmosphere?
People were all over the sidewalks and streets weaving between stopped cars that honked either in support or rage. People were laughing, chanting, and marching full of righteous fury.

3. What are your thoughts on the fact that many people consider these protests "whining" or
people being upset that they "lost"?

Back in 2008, people reacted similarly when President Obama took office and won again in 2012. Now, it's opposite. But my concerns are a majority red government flushing 8 years of progress down the toilet.

4. Why is the youth generation so upset about the outcome of this election?

For the first time, people on the LGBTQ+ spectrum can express themselves however see fit with less repercussion and stigma than our fore fathers/mothers endured. These same rights like marriage equality and the ability to express your gender identity how one sees fit— rights our predecessors were denied— are threatened. Yeah, we're upset. An American woman cannot wear her hijab for fear of having it yanked off. Yeah, we're upset. Families fleeing oppression overseas are left to get sick and die in refugee camps. Yeah, we're upset.

5. What do you think we can do to begin to come together as a nation?

There will never be a middle ground.  

6. What message do you hope the protests will send our government?
That people are aware. There are no pretenses and secrets to hide behind— someone will always speak up. We will express our freedom of speech like they've expressed their freedom of speech (them whining for the past 8 years) to bring about change.

7. What are your thoughts on the idea that some feel that this election has been another way to push the divide and conquer ideal to keep Americans from really pinpointing where the real issues are in terms of our government (corruption at the highest levels?)

Again, I don't care for president elect Trump. His bark is worse than his bite. I'm more worried about the republican majority everywhere else in government, scheming and passing things while Trump trends about grabbing some other poor woman's genitals.

8. What are your hopes for the future & what can we do to heal?

If these past nine years have shown me anything it's you don't have to fit a certain mold to run for office. We made history with Obama, Clinton came very close her second time, and even Trump - someone with little to no experience in politics won the election. It gives me hope that people will be mad enough to dare the unlikely and laugh in it's face.

Check out the photo gallery here.

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