Pro-Trump Rally Speaker Invites “Black Lives Matter” Protesters On-Stage, Result Was Unexpected

On Sep. 16, 2017, several hundred people gathered at Washington D.C.’s National Mall for what the event organizers called “The Mother of all Rallies” (MOAR). According to the rally’s website, the event was held as a display of patriotism, unity amongst all Americans regardless of political party or race, and support for the current president. In a public YouTube recording of the event, however, when activists/protesters from the Black Lives Matter movement appeared, the atmosphere became audibly hostile—that is, until one of the speakers invited the protesters on-stage.

Self proclaimed “black patriot” Henry Davis was about to speak when he not only encouraged the audience to let the protesters join the crowd, but then invited them on-stage to “show them what patriotism is about.” MOAR organizer Tommy Gunn then announced that they would give “BLM New York” President Hawk Newsome the microphone for two minutes to get his message out to the public as a pro- Freedom of Speech gesture.

“Whether [the audience] disagrees or agrees with your message is irrelevant. It’s the fact that you had the right to have the message, just like all them have the right to their message,” said Gunn before handing over the mic.

Screenshot from footage of BLM NY President Hawk Newsome on-stage at the MOAR. Full video in link below.

Newsome’s message of love for the country, and yet a deep desire to fix the racial injustice present in it, was met with a mix of claps, boos, cheers, and heckles. His statements about not being “anti-cop” but rather “anti-bad cop” warranted some especially mixed reviews, but after clarifying that BLM supporters “do not want handouts,” but simply their right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,”the heckles were replaced with applause. Newsome concluded his time with the sentiment that Americans should strive to accomplish such a task together, not separately, sounding coincidentally reminiscent of the rally’s “united, not divided” mission statement.

Despite scattered cries of opposition, after he had said his piece, the crowd applauded and let him peacefully leave the stage. In a video interview from “NowThis News” that followed the turn of events, Newsome shared his appreciation for the opportunity for both sides to humanize each other.

“I feel like two sides that never listen to each other actually made progress today,” he commented. “If not on a grander level but just person to person, I think we really made some substantial steps.”

During the remainder of the rally, the BLM activists stayed and spoke to MOAR participants, exchanging ideas and differences in opinion — an outcome drastically contradictory to previous instances where opposing sides of the political spectrum come in contact. Video evidence exists of both Trump campaign rally participants being encouraged by Trump to remove and silence opposition — violently if necessary, as well Trump opposers and supporters getting into verbal and physical altercations due to their conflicting viewpoints. But this video showed quite a different outcome. In addition to civil conversations, Newsome was also approached by rally attendees asking to take pictures with them. One of the MOAR attendees Newsome was approached by was a “Bikers for Trump” leader. After hearing Newsome’s speech, the man asked Newsome to take a picture with him and his son, which Newsome said was another pleasant surprise.

“Here I went from being their enemy, to someone they wanted to take pictures with their children. And that’s the power of communication,” said Newsome. “We came out, we were gonna chant, we were gonna do a demonstration, but we didn’t have to. We just spoke. And it worked…and I’m happy about that.”

Screenshot of Hawk Newsome with unnamed “Bikers for Trump” member and son Jacob from “Now This News” video. Full video in link below.

Information for Newsome’s interview retrieved from “NowThis News” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hRM2NmZtR0

Full video of Newsome’s speech at MOAR https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99K-G9QL5c4

For more information on the rally, visit https://www.motherofallrallies.com/

For more information on the BLM movement, visit http://blacklivesmatter.com/

PSU Altoona Students Spend Earth Day 2017 ‘Marching For Science’

No amount of rain could stifle Earth Day enthusiasm as 10 of our own Penn State Altoona students—along with several PSUA faculty members, thousands of other science advocates, environmentalists, and the King of Science himself (Bill Nye) — took to the streets of D.C. for the “March for Science” on Saturday, April 22nd.

After multiple early morning teach-ins at the National Mall, several speakers and a musical performance near the Washington monument to hype up the crowd, the group of Altoona student activists were ready to make history. The march lasted only two hours, but made some serious waves, being joined by thousands of satellite marches held simultaneously throughout the United States and around the world.

In the wake of the multitude of comments and actions from the Trump administration regarding climate change, environment-related regulations, and science program funding, outrage and concern has increasingly swept the scientific and environmental communities. From calling climate change “a hoax made by and for the Chinese,” to vowing to repeal the Paris Climate Agreement, to budget proposals mentioning double-digit budget cuts to organizations like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), President Trump has not established himself as much of an ally to environmentalism. Those who have, however, took it upon themselves to fight for what they felt needed advocacy, bringing some pretty clever signs and costumes with them to help make their point.

Protest and Patriotism: Perpetually at Odds

Image: Mobilus in Mobili via Wikipedia

If you own some kind of communication device, interact with other human beings, or are at the very least alive, you’re probably well aware that there has been a bit more outrage from American citizens lately, beyond the usual public unrest over a TV show finale or Beyoncé’s equally plot-twist-saturated home life.

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