2016 election presidential election

Chicago Protest - Tayyaba'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 Tayyaba's story. 

Photography by: Perry Fish
1. Why did you decide to attend the protests in Chicago?

So I have attended two protests so far, one on Wednesday and the other on Saturday. I guess the most simplest answer is that I went because I am an American. I care about what happens to this country and to the people in it. If Trumps follows out on even one of his "ideas"-can't call them laws because I know that we, as a country, won't allow them- then I would be devastated because I would lose a friend, neighbor, or a fellow American.

2. What was your experience like and what was the overall atmosphere?

There is so much love and acceptance at the protests. Yes there were the outliers who said sexiest comments but those were outliers. These people were of all colors and backgrounds. It was great to see so much passion and motivation.

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

I just want them to open up a history book for once. America was built on riots and civil disobedience. This makes the government accountable for their actions and also helps the people understand the law better. Plus democracy isn't perfect, and it is our responsibility to correct flaws. We must remember that the government was made for the people, not the other way around. Many important events bringing about social change were acts of civil disobedience. Some examples from the top of my head are the Boston Tea Party, Anti-War movements, the woman's suffrage movement, civil rights movement, anti-nuclear movements, amongst others. Jefferson, a founding father, even encourage this behavior saying it was needed and an important part of a democracy. I would be on the streets protesting for other laws I don't support. It isn't about Trump winning or losing, it is about keeping America a land on acceptance, equality, and opportunities.

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

Most millennials support the Democratic Party, most being liberals or progressives. Before Hilary, most supported Bernie, like myself, and agree with his view points. Lots of us understand that Trump is targeting people who have lost their jobs, many of which were in factories, and they are angry. Others are angry because they have voted for democratic corporate-ruled individuals in the past and saw no change, so when one person who is not like any other candidate in the past and is 'successful' comes along, these people see hope in him. I also think that the younger generation has experienced the world in a way lots of older people may not have. We live in a connected world with a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips. We can and should research issues and legislatives in depth before forming opinions rather than listing to propaganda. I also think we are more passionate about giving people equal rights, in whatever it may be, which I think is great!

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

The first thing is to listen. Listen to the concerns both sides have, whether it be regarding the economy, immigration, woman rights, or anything in between. We must educate ourself on these
issues and understand how other are being effected. Then we must weigh. We must see what is better for the greater good and what provides people safety and freedom. No one wants to be hurt or live in a scared state, so why impose that on others? Go back to the basics, treat others like you would like to be treated.

6. What message do you hope the protests will send our government?

I know the chances of changing the electoral college voters is slim but that does not mean we can not Trump's plan. He has already taken back multiple steps he wanted to do in his first 100 days in office. Furthermore, the statement calling for a ban on Muslims entering the United States has been removed from his campaign website. He is also now leaning towards not appealing Obama care, if anything then just modifying it, which is important because that provides millions with health care. Trump also sees that logistically you can't build a wall. The economy is dependent on the choices he, along with the senate, makes and I really don't want the country to go through another depression, which lots of economists predict. When I protest I want to raise awareness for issues I care about, many of those which can be altered if enough people raise their voices. Trump, or any candidate/ law maker for that matter, should know that the American people are not just going to stand by and watch them ruin our country for money or power, we will stand up and have our voices heard.

7. What are people doing to continue to organize and to combat the current corruption, issues and problems facing our government?

There are multiple petitions being passed around, protests are being organized, more people then ever are taking an interest in politics and voicing out their concern on the strongest and largest platform we have, social media. I know a few conferences are being held and a lot of my peers have emails and sent letters out to their senators and HOR members.

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

We all need to stop hating and hoping the worst for each others. We need to sit down and have all sides present and just voice our concerns, see what is really causing the problem. For lots of the racism, it is that they have never met a person of that race and had a real conversation with them or seen their view points. We can throw around statistics like 94% of terrorist attacks carried out in the United States from 1980 to 2005 have been by non-Muslims but clearly that isn't solving anything. I can give recent examples like the three white Kansas men who planned to shoot up a Somali immigrant complex. But that doesn't help either. Mainstream media has drilled it into people's head that Muslims equal terrorist.

What about all the Muslims who have done great things like win Olympic medals, earn noble peace prizes, become well-known TV hosts and figures, etc. Let's move on. The median income for black households is around $30,000 less than those of white households and they are also more than twice as likely as whites to live in poverty. Now, uneducated folks would blame it on the fact that they don't work hard enough but I would like you to live in the projects. That isn't easy nor a life you aim for, and they don't either but they are stuck because of bad connections employers make with being from the ghetto or names that sound too "black". They are stuck there because we as a nation have closed all doors. Can I add that they are not provided with the same resources as a majority of whites? But, no they aren't spending your tax dollars, because reality is that they use a much lower percent of food stamps a year than whites and barely any of your tax dollars go to provide them education and resources so they can get out of this cycle that history has put them

I can talk about Mexican immigrants all day and about how they help the flow of the economy and without them we would be in a worst state, and a majority of economists would agree. I can tell you about how you don't want their jobs, the work of undocumented citizens. I can tell you about how brutally natives have been treated and how we are currently invading what you can consider their country because we have signed the treaties that we continue to break over and over again. We can talk about the economical advantages of having free trade. To heal we need to talk. We need to sit together and discuss these issues. Because the other side doesn't understand what we are going though until they cannot open their eyes to our issues and vice versa.

Check out the photo gallery here.

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