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Blacksburg Inaugurate Resistance March & Vigil

On January 20th, 2017 the 45th president of the United States of America was sworn into office, and as you may have noticed — silence and willful obedience is not and can never be the solution, especially now. Resistance movements, marches, protests and demonstrations poised in communities small and large matter and so does your individual voice and experiences. 

Open your eyes and raise your voices, hold your signs and put one foot in front of the other, despite how much it feels like you are being hurled backward; you can find community in your pursuit of justice, human rights and love, just as many did this past Friday in the Blacksburg community. Around 4:30 pm, a crowd of community activists and Virginia Tech students gathered together in solidarity before commencing their march.

Beginning with an all day teach-in at the Lyric theatre and ending with a march and vigil, the Inaugurate Resistance March & Vigil event was put on by the Coalition for Justice

Representing values like, “anti-racist, anti-homophobic, anti-transphobic, anti-xenophobic, anti-fascist, anti-corporate takeover and anti-cimate change denier,” the Coalition for Justice handed out printed and homemade signs, as well as candles for the protestors to peacefully represent such values. 

Grace, Class of 2020, Political Science Major: “I came out because I wanted to support the community. I wanted to show other people who couldn’t make it that we’re still out here, we’re fighting for this and there’s a welcoming community around here and you can feel safe and protest.

“While some people might oppose it, we’re still standing up for what we think is right. A few strong women in my life have told me that hope is everything, and I’m just trying to hold onto that.” 

“Claim your power!” appears on a protestor’s sign with an image of a cat and the hashtag #ungovernable.  Blacksburg marchers round the corner in front of Newman Library past Squires plaza, chanting a handful of phrases like, “hands too small, can’t build a wall,” “this is what democracy looks like” and “sexism is not welcome here,” among others. Jason, Class of 2018, Psychology Major: “I’ve never really been someone who’s been outspoken about my activism. This is the first time I’ve been out giving a voice and a face to the causes I care about. Everyone has a right to live their lives. We shouldn’t let others enforce policies that prevent that from happening.”Many children were present in the march, donning rainbow apparel and carrying signs hinting at inclusivity and positivity. A young protestor wears a jestful “nasty woman” tee — an insult used by Donald Trump aimed at degrading Hillary Clinton during campaigning. 

Kathleen, Virginia Tech Alumni, Community activist: “I’m really glad this event happened and I’m happy with the turnout. The only thing is that I think it’s kind of problematic to talk about accepting Trump as if what he’s doing is normal… Love can only do so much when the state is out to get you, when they kill black people, black trans women and queer people in general at a disproportionate rate, that’s not something that can be beaten by love necessarily but by direct action against the oppressors.” 

Pictured standing among the Pylons, a community activist’s sign reads, “Trump’s Amerikkka is not ours.”

Overlooking the Drillfield, a glowing sun descending into the horizon and closing remarks signaled the end of the march. 

Kaley Roshitsh

Virginia Tech '18

After graduating with a B.S. in Fashion Merchandising and Design from Virginia Tech in 2018, Kaley moved to NYC to start her career with WWD – the authority on the fashion, beauty and retail industries. She is credited with the relaunch of Her Campus at Virginia Tech in 2016, serving as Campus Correspondent for 2 years, building the team to 55+ members while earning multiple Pink chapter level statuses (top-20% of over 330 chapters) and being awarded "Outstanding Organization of the Year" in 2018 at Virginia Tech. Other notable achievements include the annual "Media Mixer" gala and buildout of many strategic content initiatives.
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