For weeks, I heard about Moral Mondays. Finally, I had time to go yesterday. I've been to several demonstrations, but nothing like this. This was like a rock concert for people who care about what's going on in NC and around the country. There were thousands of people there.
One of the things I like best about going to any kind of demonstration or participating in different forms of activism is that I get to meet a lot of people and talk to them. One of the things that's great about going to a huge event like yesterday's is that people come out and demonstrate for a variety of reasons. The theme of yesterday's Moral Monday was women's rights. I met a lot of people there, like representatives of National Organization for Women, who were there standing up for the reproductive rights I want to have someday when I'm older. There were people there for other reasons too. There were people from Democracy North Carolina who were registering people to vote. There was a guy advocating for legalization of medical marijuana in our state. My mom spent some time talking to one guy who was informing people about Wal Mart. I had no idea there was an issue with Wal Mart, and the fact that guy was there made me aware.
One of the most powerful parts of my whole experience yesterday was the crowd parting and the people wearing blue ties on their arms walking inside the Legislature. Those people knew what was going to happen when they got inside. They knew they were going to be taken to jail. They were going to be taken to jail because they want me to have rights. They were going to be taken to jail because there are people who would get better health care, meals, and a place to sleep in jail then they would trying to survive on their own in my state that continues to take more and more away from those who have nothing. I wanted so badly to be one of those people with the blue arm bands on. Unfortunately, I'm just a kid.
I've noticed a distinct difference in the reactions of people who support discrimination and laws like those currently being passed in NC and the people who stand against these things. The people who defend the policies react to me by saying I've been brainwashed and can't think for myself. The people standing against the policies are all very nice to me. They welcome me. They encourage me to learn things and form my own opinions, whether or not I agree or disagree with them. Even though I can't march inside the building to get arrested because I'm just a kid, many adults told me yesterday I was welcome to attend the meeting about it next time.
It's time for people to wake up and realize that, like it or not, kids like me are going to run the country someday. We may not go into politics directly, but we will vote and take part in democracy in other ways. The policies of the GOP currently reflect old ideas and the attitudes of many of those who represent them reflect they do not welcome new ideas or the input of the next generation. It's common to shout "Four more years!" when people want a President re-elected. Well, I shout "Six more years!" because in six more years, I will be 18 and I will be able to vote, among many other things.