Community Responds to Trump

Professor Thomas Corrigan of Communication Studies walking out of Rep. Paul Cook’s District Office. (James Quigg | Daily Press)

By Emily Anne Espinosa |News Editor|

In addition to the opposition against Trump’s executive order by universities and organizations on campus, resistance continues on the community level.

One example is the coalition Indivisible San Bernardino Mountains, a non-partisan group committed to resisting Trump’s policies.

Dr. T.C. Corrigan, a professor of communication studies, is an organizer of the group.

Indivisible San Bernardino Mountains is a “grassroots non-partisan group that is dedicated to resisting the Trump agenda by exerting pressure on our representatives in Congress, to listen to their constituents and act on their behalf,” stated Corrigan.

The group is associated with the broader “Indivisible” coalition nationwide, found on indivisibleguide.com.

On Tuesday, Jan. 31, Indivisible San Bernardino Mountains orchestrated a meet-up at at Rep. Paul Cook’s district office located at Apple Valley Town Hall.

The group gathered at Cook’s office since he is the most immediate congressman for residents in California’s 8th Congressional District.

At the event, more than 60 participants from all over the San Bernardino county gathered to express their views and show their opposition to Trump’s executive actions implemented in the past two weeks.

“I just feel like our constitution has been stepped on and he is a very dangerous person,” said Sharon Moore, an attendant of the event from Pinon Hills.

“We can’t just sit back and go “oh well” because it’s not just another election and it’s not about being disappointed just because the other person didn’t win […] I think he’s dangerous and I’m afraid,” continued Moore.

The main issue of concern that was discussed was the travel restriction placed on travelers from the seven affected Muslim-majority countries and suspension of entry of Syrian refugees, although the group shared a multiplicity of concerns with Trump’s executive actions.

“I realize the purpose and need of executive orders, and the history of executive orders […] however, currently there seems to be a bit of an overreach and it just worries me. For the one that we’re here for in particular today seems just wrong”, said Keith Martin, a researcher for the organization.

Martin was a history teacher who has taught government and U.S. history for over 30 years, and every year, he teaches his students about the impact of historic events such as MS St. Louis and what happened when the U.S. turned away the Jewish refugees.

“We should not stand idly by and let the dark side of history repeat itself, and I think that’s the main motivation for so many of the people here today,” continued Martin.

Some of the attendants, such as Moore and Robin Donley from Oak Hills expressed that this is the first time they have ever participated in a protest or activism.

“That’s how bad it is, that we’re out here [despite never doing this before],” said Donley.

“In the past I thought that voting was enough, now I realize it’s not,” continued Donley.

At the event, a letter addressed to Cook was read in front of his office, expressing the coalition’s position statement and sentiments against Trump’s executive order on immigration and refugee resettlement, the reasoning behind their stance, as well as a proposal of action for Cook to take.

The letter states, “we are shocked and outraged at your support for this dangerous and un-American executive order as a whole, and we demand that you change your position and state publicly, clearly, and unambiguously that you oppose this executive order by the end of the week.”

“Should you refuse to, we will return frequently and repeatedly until you change your position, and we will vote you out of office for betraying American values and putting our lives at risk,” continued in the letter.

After the letter was read, volunteers presented their own concerns, experiences, and reaction to Trump’s executive actions.

One speaker was Eric Belton “Abdul Aleem,”  who spoke about his life experiences of an African American male growing up in Compton, and how his faith in Islam had saved his life on more than one occasion.

“Being a Muslim is not about what country you’re from, but a complete way of life,” concluded Belton.

After the speakers told their narratives, Matt Knox, Cook’s district director, listened to questions, comments, and concerns from the group on behalf of Cook’s absence.

Until Cook listens to his constituents requests, Indivisible San Bernardino Mountains will continue to exert pressure on Cook until he changes his position.

Information on Indivisible San Bernardino Mountains can be found on mountainindivisible.com.

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