While Donald Trump is busy building walls between nations, President Obama’s 18-year-old daughter Malia is busily trying to tear them down.
Having traveled to Bolivia and Peru in the fall, she showed up at Park City, Utah, for the Sundance Film Festival and took part in a protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
According to reports, she joined “approximately 100 people who gathered on Main Street at the Sundance Film Festival to let it be known how upset she was with President Trump’s plan to move forward with the controversial transport system.”
“The group braved the blistering cold and heavy snowfall as they held up signs reading ‘Exist. Resist. Rise.’ and ‘Impeach corporate control.’”
After protesting in front of the Chase Bank, calling on it to divest itself, Native News Online says the protesters marched down Main Street “as they sang and chanted ‘Water is Life!’”
In an interview with Democracy Now, actress and activist Shailene Woodley, 25, who was arrested in October while protesting DAPL, praised Malia for taking a stand,
“It was amazing to see Malia. I saw her last night when we did the event with Chairman Dave Archambault. And it was incredible to see her there.
Watch courtesy of Democracy Now:
“Also, to witness a human being and a woman coming into her own outside of her family and outside of the attachments that this country has on her, but someone who’s willing to participate in democracy because she chooses to, because she recognizes, regardless of her last name, that if she doesn’t participate in democracy, there will be no world for her future children.”
Donald Trump and his energy secretary Rick Perry both Obama’s orders in order to press completion of the pipeline. There is money to be made, after all.
Asked if she would have liked to see President Obama act more forcefully, Woodley told Democracy Now that,
“You know, as a citizen, of course, I would say that. But I’m not—I’m not in the White House. I don’t know what obstacles that man was up against…I don’t know, actually, that he could have.”
There is nothing to say if Obama had acted more decisively in 2014 that we would be anywhere other than where we are now. Donald Trump would still want his pipeline. Republicans would still be just as willing to trample Native American rights and Treaty Rights. Corporate America would be as avaricious today as yesterday.
The Democratic Party needs young heroes, and of course, real heroes are those who do not think of themselves are heroes. They are just people who do what needs to be done, and Malia Obama took a stand against Trump and for Standing Rock this week, and it was heartening to see.
It was just the sort of thing democracy needs in these darkest days, and if we are to survive the specter of Trump totalitarianism, we will more need young people like Malia, willing to take a stand for what they know is right.