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Clement Doucette

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by Dakota Antelman

Marchers from across New England descended on the Boston Common earlier this month to protest President Donald Trump and support the various groups he insulted in his campaign or threatened with his policy proposals. 

Taking place the day after Trump’s inauguration, the march was one of hundreds across the world. It attracted, according to organizers and Boston Police, 175,000 people to the Boston Common and featured speeches from high-profile Massachusetts Democrats. Nearly a week later, more protests erupted across the country in opposition to a ban on immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

Several HHS students and staff members attended. After the march, the Big Red spoke to two of these students about their experiences, their beliefs, and their hopes for the future.

 

Eva Tipps

The Women’s March filled the Boston Common with more people than many onlookers can remember. Like many other protests across the country, it surpassed expectations of attendance.

Elizabeth Warren, a US Senator for Massachusetts and a popular voice among progressive Democrats, headlined the pre-march rally at the Boston Common, delivering a speech in which she committed to fighting Donald Trump even though her party represents the minority in both houses of Congress.

Warren was, however, just one of several liberal leaders who attended the rally. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh declared on behalf of the city of Boston that he would fight Trump. Days after that speech, his words were indeed put to the test when Trump announced he would put pressure on sanctuary cities like Boston to turn over undocumented immigrants to the federal government.

Likewise, the two were joined by Senator Ed Markey who touched on similar themes in his speech.

Eva Tipps

As many marches were still taking place on January 21, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer falsely claimed that Donald Trump’s inauguration drew the largest audience in history in an aggressive briefing of reporters in Washington, D.C.

The next day, in an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd, Kellyanne Conway, a counselor to President Trump, defended Spicer’s comments by saying that he had not lied. Instead, she said, “he used alternative facts.”

The events came after Trump had spent much of his campaign insulting the press and threatening to change libel laws in his administration. During the Boston Women’s March, some participants could be heard chanting in support of a free press.

Clement Doucette

Trump’s first week in office began with women’s marches around the world. It ended with protestors flocking to airports across the US to oppose an executive order by the president that banned immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries for 120 days while the government developed “extreme vetting” programs for refugees.

Those protests were sparked when 12 refugees were detained at JFK Airport in New York City by officials citing Trump’s order and began to thin when a federal judge ruled that refugees in transit to the US should be admitted and as the White House announced that all foreigners holding Green Cards would still be able to enter the US.

For students and progressive leaders alike, the early protests against President Trump are and will continue to be a favored tactic in resisting a government over which their party has little control.

 

Eva Tipps

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Clement Doucette calls a voter after school. | by Dakota Antelman

by Dakota Antelman

Though he cannot vote for Bernie Sanders in the upcoming presidential election, sophomore Clement Doucette is working to persuade others to do so. 

Doucette recently used a tool on the Sanders campaign website to become a registered volunteer phone banker for the Vermont senator. He created an account with the campaign and read required training packets on how to campaign over the phone. In the weeks since he signed up, Doucette has made an estimated 15 phone calls to Iowa and New Hampshire homes on behalf of Sanders. He uses printed scripts, specific to the home state of the person he is calling, to speak with voters.

Doucette devotes time after school to calling voters, trying to ensure that his support for Sanders has an effect on voting day, even though he cannot cast a ballot himself.

“I wanted to sign up and be able to make a difference in some way,” Doucette says. “I wanted to spread the word about Bernie Sanders and get some more support out there for him.”

He has, however, struggled to get voters to answer his calls. Due to time differences between Massachusetts and Iowa, and a busy schedule, Doucette has been unable to call during optimal hours for voters. Furthermore, he understands how people on the other end of his call may be annoyed by continued campaigning.

Especially in the states where there’s an upcoming caucus or primary, the people are probably getting sick of seeing all the ads and hearing all the callers,” he says.

Nevertheless, Doucette has long supported Bernie Sanders, who kicked off his presidential campaign in April, but only this fall began challenging Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton for votes in the upcoming primary elections.

“He’s the first presidential candidate who aligns with what I believe,” Doucette explains of Sanders. “He has a really strong economic policy that’s much better than the ones any of the other candidates have. He really advocates for common people. He’s not an advocate for big banks in Wall Street.”

His unabashed support has, however, drawn criticism from within Hudson High School.

“A lot of people I know are big Bernie supporters, but not a lot of them have actually decided to call. Also, I’ve gotten some backlash for my views from some of the kids who think that Bernie is too liberal. I’ve even heard people accuse him and me of being a communist. We are not,” Doucette says.

Doucette does not back down from his political beliefs, keeping with a love of politics that started young for him.

“I probably started [liking politics] around age 10,” he says. “My parents started showing me the Daily Show and the Colbert Report around that time. I really liked that. I thought they were great shows. It got me into watching the news a lot, too. That sort of fueled my interest in politics.”

For Doucette, being involved with politics as a citizen does not start when a citizen is first eligible to cast a ballot. He encourages ineligible voters to make their beliefs heard by being involved with the campaigns they support.

“Being a phone banker is a really good way to help out and support your favorite candidate,” he says. “Other than that, you can go door to door or spread flyers. Just go and talk about your candidate and why they’re a good person.”