A contingent of volunteers from New England travelled to DC on October 23 to participate in the Freedom to Vote Rally. Several were kind enough to share their experiences. We hope their spirit and enthusiasm will spur you to take part fighting the threat of voter suppression.
I was exhilarated to be with so many others who are ‘walking the walk’ and who understand that the rise of authoritarianism in our country is the self-inflicted result of racism, unfettered capitalism, misogyny, and a handful of other dark ~isms.
The 35%-40% percent of voters who still support Trump do so because they believe both major political parties have abandoned them. Congress does the bidding of the industries it should be regulating thanks to insidious and effective campaign contributions industry and the lobbyists.
The drift to authoritarianism is happening in such slow-motion that it’s not capturing the attention of the public, as it should. It must be stopped. We need to keep writing and postcarding and phone banking. Hesitant Senators must make an exception to the filibuster to safeguard Voting Rights … indeed to safeguard our precious American Democracy.
Randi Weingarten, a long-time union organizer, warned us that she was going to be loud — and she was. She almost didn’t need a microphone when she yelled out, ‘Why is it so hard to save our democracy? You know why. Because the people in power don’t want to give it up.’
Power concedes nothing without a demand. That’s why we’re going to keep up the noise in defense of voting rights until they can’t avoid hearing us on Capitol Hill.
One speaker’s message said it all: ‘We must look for the stars and move past the summer of discontent and the autumn of frustration into the winter of justice!’ Being at the rally reminded me that we are part of the arc of history. We must keep working and not be dissuaded. We cannot stop until voting rights legislation is passed.
The rally energized me, and the speeches prodded me to fight harder. I keep thinking of the suffragettes who stood in front of President Wilson’s White House — rain or shine — crying out, ‘Mr. President, what will you do for women’s suffrage?’
I came to DC from California. Being with committed activists and hearing inspirational speakers made the trip worth it! I was especially moved by the man who walked from West Virginia and felt honored to hear from the family of the late Martin Luther King. Undeterred, I will continue to fight!
It’s sad at my age to have to be doing this. I cannot believe what’s happening in my country. We are not going to go quietly.
The commitment of the people who made it to the rally was impressive; their spirit was palpable. We were hooting and hollering during the speeches, lending support for this terribly difficult fight.
I am driven by my fear of not getting the voting rights bills passed and my anger at the attempts to roll back our Constitution in favor of minority rule. I will harness these emotions and let them drive me to do more to save our Democracy.
Not everyone can travel to DC for a rally. But lots of actions count. Write a letter to the editor. Any newspaper will have an impact. Call your Congressperson. Email your Senator. Use. Your. Power.