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On June 15, FIU hosted the Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America in an effort to bring together the U.S., Mexico and Central America government to discuss the region’s economic and security issues such as gang violence, human and drug trafficking.
The Students for a Democratic Society organized a protest “to show solidarity against the neo-imperialist military industrial complex,” according to their Facebook event page.
Protesting is a first amendment right. It’s America’s way of vibrantly disagreeing with any issue at hand. But I think some people forgot what they were protesting.
About 60 to 70 students, faculty, alumni and various organization leaders chanted, “Hey hey ho ho, fascism has got to go” and “Make America think again” in front of Graham Center.
Various signs read “Too busy studying to make a clever sign so here’s a fact: Mike Pence is a BIGOT,” and “I’ve seen smarter cabinets at IKEA” with a picture of Mike Pence and Trump.
It became apparent that people weren’t protesting the efforts of the conference — they were protesting Mike Pence.
Sebastian Gonzalez, a sophomore in social work and the social media director of Students for a Democratic society, said he was protesting to protect the lives of immigrants from the economical and military policies of the U.S.
Gonzalez suggested that the only way to truly solve problems in Central America was to have a worldwide socialist revolution. This would be an imperialist liberation of the oppressed and a punch to capitalism, he said, all while he scrolled through his iPhone — ironic.
Gonzalez also said that foreign countries that are socialist would benefit from a socialist revolution; he didn’t know how, he only assumed. He added that he had no idea what would happen afterwards, but that capitalism needs to be punched in the face.
Many other students and faculty were speaking out, advocating for inclusion of race, sexual orientation, sexual identity, religion and opinion. But as they preached their message of “inclusion” and “tolerance,” they belittled a Trump supporter who wore a “Make America Great Again” hat.
With every given chance, the protesters would cover his sign or tell him to leave the event. It seems they’re only tolerant of those they agree with.
Those protesting had an opportunity to unite against one cause and make their message clear, but instead they whined about Mike Pence and accomplished nothing. Protesting is important, but when it becomes a list of grievances against one person, it loses its effect. Rather than educate themselves on the conference, many protestors decided that they would let FIU know why they didn’t like Pence.
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