Behind the scenes of the cancelled peace protest

Sepand Rouz

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“Make America Great Again.” “Stronger Together.” “It’s in our hands.”

These are all quotes said by our presidential candidates. At first the slogans seem like they belong to politicians that have the same agenda, to make America greater than before, but this wasn’t the case as tension arose after President-elect Trump won the election and some parts of the US disagreed. But two MVHS girls did not want to just sit around and do nothing. Instead they wanted to speak out against the results and help initiate change.

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After the results of the presidential election, many of the people who voted for Clinton were not happy. According to the Census, people in more diverse parts of the United States such as Seattle, Oakland, and San Francisco were having riots over the election results. Protesters repeatedly chanted the mantra “Not my President”, using posters to show their dissatisfaction. Schools such as Berkeley High School and San Lorenzo High School followed suit. MVHS was soon to followed suit under the leadership of juniors Victoria Xiao and Mayumi Tabungar until the protest was suddenly canceled by the protest organizers.

“The election may have not affected us personally,” Xiao said. “But we cared about the other people it did affect and we wanted to help in that way.”

Xiao and her friends knew that the protests did not affect them directly because in Cupertino, it is too privileged to feel the affects of the election results. According to Patch.com, most households in Cupertino make well over 100 thousand dollars a year. Xiao and her friends believe that students who live in Cupertino do not usually face any resentment from other people because it is such a diverse place in the world. Usually with the high income and diversity in the community, there isn’t much room for resentment. But they understand it isn’t like that everywhere in the world.

“I don’t think that people [in Cupertino] are passionate enough to really take initiative and speak up,” Tabungar said. “It’s more about getting into college.”

But there were worries about the protest. One of the main concerns that the girls had about the protest this was the lack of participation. The protest was supposed to take place at 2:45pm during the end of seventh period on Nov. 14. The students would have gotten up from their seats and gone to the front of the school to protest the results of the presidential election.

Xiao and Tabungar wanted to hold this protest to show that MHVS’ student body did not agree with the results of the recent election. But after thinking about it for a while, they had realized that, according to them, MVHS is too study oriented, and, in turn, organizing a walkout during school hours would not attract the amount of people they would have liked. With this realization, doubts raced through the two girls’ minds. Not only was the administration not replying to their emails about the idea of a walkout, but they were afraid that the turnout would much lower than they had envisioned.

“We were very passionate about what we believed in,” Xiao said. “And we wanted to act upon those actions.”

Xiao and Tabungar wanted to express their beliefs with other students. Even though people were already expressing their thoughts of the election through Facebook, they did not see it as enough. The only things they described seeing on Facebook were memes and jokes about the election, or people being disappointed with the results, but not doing anything about it. They believe that there was no protest at MVHS because MVHS students aren’t dedicated enough to go out and speak out. But even though they did not get the opportunity to have the walk out, these two have not given up on voicing out their opinions.

“We need to have an environment where we can express our own opinions so we can grow and learn and empathize,” Xiao said.

Both Tabungar and Xiao believe in creating an environment where students can share their opinions without being bullied by others or being forced to stay quiet. Even though the protest didn’t happen, these two are still advocating for their beliefs.