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The Time I.. Got Stuck in a Trump Riot

Caylin Ziemelis, Editor in chief

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 Looking back on my life, I’ve been thrown into some pretty interesting situations. Sometimes it’s my own doing, and other times the stars just align that way. I’ve experienced hurricanes, blizzards, a tsunami, and much more, but nothing quite scared me like this night.

The year was 2016, at the time my mother’s friend Audrey and her daughter Sarah had invited us to New York to take fall Instagram pictures and experience the city. We booked the airfare according to Audrey’s travel plans and happily waited. As the date got closer, the presidential election did too. The whole country was talking about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. A week before our trip I looked at the dates and saw that we would fly into New York November 8th…the night of the election.

My mother and I woke up at 4am and flew the whole day, not looking at any news in the media. We touched down in New York at 11pm and went to find our baggage in the huge airport. While waiting for my bags to circle the belt, I looked on to the TV mounted to the wall and saw riots were spreading in major cities protesting the presidential win of Donald Trump.  

Here’s a little history about our friend, Trump. In the 1980’s The Trump Organization bought buildings all around the world. Two in New York and one on 5th Avenue. The same street as my hotel, coincidentally. Outside the airport, we saw long lines of tired business people waiting their turn to order a ride. My mom and I pleaded for a taxi 

crazy enough to drop us off at our hotel near political ground zero.

Finally we found a taxi and continued our journey. Riding over the Queensborough Bridge into the city lights, I forgot the chaos and took in the beauty of the lights which were mesmerizing.  In the light rain, my wide eyes scanned the huge billboards. Central Park was lit by single old-fashioned street lights which looked incredibly vintage. It was like I was in a movie. But it was all over too soon as we hit dead stopped traffic and heard angry chants and yells.

Since taxis charge by the minute, my mom and I decided that we could walk the rest of the two blocks at 12am with our huge luggage. That’s when we saw the riots and people lining the sidewalks. Police were everywhere riding horses, talking on walkie talkies while sirens blared. Young men and woman held homemade signs that said, “We reject the president elect” or “ He is not MY President.”

In the distance, I saw Sarah and Audrey waiting for us outside the hotel lobby. We all hugged and laughed about how insane the night had become. Audrey said that a couple hours before we arrived the street in front of the hotel had been filled with rioters, too. I breathed a sigh of relief as I collapsed onto my hotel bed, exhausted from the whole night.

The next day as we walked through the subway station to get to Times Square, I noticed that thousands of Post It notes had been placed on the walls. People had written their thoughts of the new president and their worry for our future. As a child I was always taught to silently criticize politics but all those people showed me that sometimes it’s ok to scream about it and cry openly.  

That was exactly two years ago and tomorrow is the Midterm election where American citizens vote on our house, senate and congress. Here at Konawaena 65% of the students voted democratic in the mock election. Back in 2016 people thought that it was pointless to vote because their voice in the matter was so small. Then they were shocked when Donald Trump won, but now we have all learned our lesson. If you are 18 and eligible to vote, I urge you to go to the voting polls tomorrow because you can change your future and the world you live in. On that November night, hope seemed lost and the world was a scary place but now we the youth can change the outcome of America.

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The Time I.. Got Stuck in a Trump Riot