As Activism Under Trump Draws First-Timers, Organizers Look To Keep Momentum - Rights & Democracy VT

As Activism Under Trump Draws First-Timers, Organizers Look To Keep Momentum

In the three months since President Donald Trump's inauguration, some advocacy groups have seen an uptick in people who want to get involved in their organizations. The groups say that the next step is keeping those people involved in social activism. 

Last Saturday, despite the cold, grey skies and a persistent drizzle of rain, nearly 2,000 people joined the Burlington March for Science.

The rally – one of several in the state – was held in conjunction with marches around the world. The point was to celebrate the role of science the world and to protest the Trump administration's possible cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency and research funding.

People held signs with slogans like "May the facts be with you" and "Stop Truth Decay."

Sam Clark said it was his first protest.

“I was out running errands and then I saw this, and it was a cause I agreed with, and so just decide to join,” Clark said.

Clark isn't the only one join a protest or a march for the first time. 

James Haslam, executive director of the advocacy group Rights and Democracy, said ever since the election, way more people want to get involved.

“The more people we can get involved to work together to create change, the more likely we're going to succeed,” Haslam said.

“I think the potential for burnout is actually less when there is a continual threat to the things that you hold dear." — Rory McVeigh, University of Notre Dame

He said the next step is to get people working at the local level — doing things like running for local office and helping with community outreach.

Haslam said they’re trying to find ways to involve everyone, whatever their interest, ability or capacity.  

“We have a lot of retirees and people that have time to come to meetings and be part of planning and [do] a lot of volunteer work in the movement, and then some people don't have a lot of time. Families, you know, are increasingly strapped for time, and they contribute in other ways,” Haslam said.

Full story from Vermont Public Radio here.

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