What do we want? “PEACE.” When do we want it? “NOW.” On Monday, November 14, about 250 Arcata High students marched out of their third period classes at 11 a.m. to protest for peace. Despite the possible consequences, students were eager to participate, knowing that fighting for what they believe in is a worthy cause. The energetic, emotionally charged group swarmed to the plaza, chanting “Divided we are weak, united we are strong,” while promoting peace, unity, and equality throughout the community. NPA students joined the crowd at the plaza, making the statement even more powerful.
Following the walk-out, participants met in the Fine Arts Building to discuss their thoughts and fears concerning culture, hate, love, and acceptance in today’s society. At the forum, the mic was open to all voices.
The idea for a walkout began as a post on AfterSchool, a social media platform designed for students, and immediately grew with excited support from much of the student population. There were some complications in pulling it together, but the event turned out to be a huge success regardless of all the confusion.
Naz Dickerson, one of the loudest voices in the protest, stated, “I believe that we don’t have enough equality here in the United States and I feel like that gets really overlooked. It’s really important to stand up for what you believe in and I personally believe that everyone deserves a fair chance and everyone deserves to be treated with respect… I’m really happy that so many people knew the risks and the consequences and still exercised their first amendment rights and went and protested, which I think is great.“
Senior Marina Sonn, who had a big role in organizing the walkout, explained,