Students raises voice in Dallas’ first youth-led protest

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Michelle Landry, student and creator of the Youth Protest Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee, speaks to the crowd on current issues. (Image: Rachel Hawkins NDG)

By: Rachel Hawkins, NDG Staff Writer

A single voice is can easily be taken for granted or overlooked. Voices are used every day to express, sing, announce, proclaim, and so much more. Regardless of age, sex, religion, or nationality, every human has a voice to express their feelings on topics, and several students this past weekend put their one voices to great use.

While one single voice may appear to be weak and small in our vast fast-paced world, the chants of dozens of passionate youths were definitely heard throughout the streets of Dallas.

On July 21, several students led Texas’ first youth-led rally, Youth Protest Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee (YPTSCN) and protested in front of Senator John Cornyn’s office in Dallas. They brought forth their concerns on President Donald Trump’s choice over Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Since the election of President Trump, it is said that 20 percent of the youth are planning to come out and vote for the next election. Dozens of students, youth leaders, and members of Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, Young Progressive Christians, and Dallas Women’s March attended the rally to show support.

With the guarantee of a conservative majority, many issues heavily debated in our society could take a turn and impact the nation in a vastly different way. These issues include: When President Trump said on the campaign trail he would nominate a judge who would overturn Roe vs. Wade (1973), and reconsider the topic of race in university admissions. With rulings like the Masterpiece Cakeshop, LGBTQ rights, along with reproductive, immigrant, and affirmative rights can also be challenged with the new Supreme Court.

Michelle Landry is the creator of the YPTSCN event and a student at the University of Texas at Dallas. Currently she is a history major and was an organizer for the Democrat Party of Wisconsin for several months, but she plans to become an attorney.

“I think it’s so important to have your voice heard, I believe there is value in coming together, to be frustrated together and get energy from each other,” Landry said. “It’s important to create a platform like this to talk about the issues that happens nationally as well as locally here in Texas.”

When Landry heard about the Supreme Court nominee, her heart drop to her stomach. The week before the rally Landry reached out to Denise Rodriguez, Public Affairs Manager at Planned Parenthood on Facebook and told her she wanted to get involved in Planned Parenthood in an effort to do something about the Supreme Court. At the time they did not have a plan but were open to taking the lead. Together Landry and Planned Parenthood developed an outline for the protest. Landry coordinated interested groups and individuals ranging from students, social workers, and immigrants to speak at the rally. She created a team and together they lead outreach and recruitment to organize the protest.

“With everything going on it’s easy to feel helpless about what’s going on, but it’s good to build and strike for the community and to know that there are organizers on the ground who are doing fantastic work,” Landry said.

Landry hopes and wants George W. Bush to use his library to get all of the records open on Kavanaugh nomination. She strongly believes that public should have access to those records during the nomination. According to a poll from the Pew Research Center, the majority of Americans oppose the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States.

She also wants Senator Cornyn to know there are Texans who dislike what is going on, and would also like to bring awareness to local issues and organizers.

“This is their future. There is still a small and passionate group of people that care about it,” Landry said.   “We’re going to be living with the consequences of it for the next few decades.

Students and concerned students protest outside of Sen. John Cornyn’s Dallas office on July 21, 2018