Power to the People Revisited

By Amanda Eldreth

Elm Staff Writer


Being a part of something that is larger than your own personal bubble is sometimes frightening because of the severity the task or event imposes upon us. Sometimes, remaining in our bubble is safer and easier because if we screw up something, the consequences are our’s alone. But we when we put ourselves into the community and the world, then we take on larger consequences. That possibility scares some people away from taking action and speaking out.

However, Kent County proved that there are people willing to take that risk. There was a second protest on Tuesday, Oct. 4, in Chestertown outside the County Commissioners’ office to illustrate the community’s strong opposition of the proposed rubble dump. People from all over once again came out with their picket signs and posters in order to visually emphasize how much they care about the Sassafras and why people need to take on the responsibility of maintaining the environment and keeping it as untainted as possible.

Before my first protest a few weeks ago, I was convinced that in modern times, no change could be brought about despite all that has become a part of our history due to protesting in general. I figured different times called for different measures. However, after attending the first one and seeing firsthand the turn out of the community and the reception to the Student Environment Alliance club, I realized that community outreach is an effective tool standing up for what people believe in. Developers and those in power often do not take into account the impact on the little things that each individual holds dear. To them, there is usually only greed and dollar signs. If the community does not reach out and stand up for those items that we value, then they could potentially fall victim to projects such as the rubble dump.

Community members seemed to be pleased when they discovered the Student Enviroment Alliance stemmed from Washington College and that the younger members in the community do care and still have the enthusiasm to tackle the world and save it. However, the most satisfying bit of information at the second protest was when the commissioners announced that unanimously, they will all be voting against the rubble dump. Though the vote has yet to happen, the commissioners will look like hypocrites if they go against their word and vote ‘yes’ instead.

My own personal opinion about protesting in today’s society has been altered through my own participation and the positive outcome of the protest in general. Although the outcome will not always be positive, community outreach is beneficial because it becomes an extension of individual voices. If people do not act and let their opinions be heard, then those elected in office will remain ignorant to the community’s views and ideals; and this leads to narrow minded thinking. When there are other people involved, more complex thinking is brought about and a more solid decision can be made.

Even if you stand alone, stepping out of your safety bubble and letting your voice be heard about something is your right as a human being. If we do not exercise that right, all the protests and wars fought in history will have been for nothing.

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