Friday, October 15, 2021

Youth activists speak out at 'Stop the Spending' protest

October 6, 2021
<p>Howell students join in on the &quot;Stop the Spending&quot; protest against President Joe Biden&#x27;s proposed infrastructure initiatives. </p>

Howell students join in on the "Stop the Spending" protest against President Joe Biden's proposed infrastructure initiatives.

Photo by Chloe Trofatter | The State News

On Oct. 5, students from the Livingston County area joined in on a “Stop The Spending” protest against President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan.

High schoolers Easton Kramer, Nick Halonen and Colin Pietila attended the protest instead of their normal school day.

Both Kramer and Halonen said they became politically active after former President Donald Trump took office in 2016. Much of their concerns came from excessive government spending. 

Halonen said Biden is spending tax money on more vaccines when people don’t want or need them.

“This $2 trillion bill he's trying to pass … he's going to try to tax the rich after that, this is gonna trickle down to the middle class,” Halonen said.

He also said Biden is spending too much money on COVID-19, immigration and unemployment.

“People should go back to work,” Halonen said.

Pietila said that money should be directed towards veterans’ needs. 

“Marines come back with PTSD, and veterans, they’re living on the street," Pietila said.

Aidon Quinn, another student, attended the rally with his teacher, Rachel Zolinski. Quinn wore a Gadsden flag around his neck.

“He’s one of my students,” Zolinski said. “He was interested in coming out, I support that.”

Quinn attended the event to talk to people on the left and the right side of the political spectrum.He said that people need to acknowledge the fault within their own parties. 

“So, both sides benefit off conflict, right?” Quinn said. “So, as long as both sides are in disagreement, there’s tension going on, those in power are going to make money off that.”

Quinn also said the left and the right both need to realize they are on the same side.

“I think the real issue that people need to acknowledge is the people against those in power, because a lot of people don’t understand it, on both sides,” Quinn said.

Zolinski held a black flag with the phrase “Burn the Ships” printed on it. The flag was first used during the Spanish Revolution and the Boston Tea Party, Zolinski said.

“We didn’t want those ships of tea because we didn't ask for that, we didn’t want a monopoly on it,” she said. “So, they made those flags.” 

Zolinksi said that she identified with the flag because civil liberties continue to be taken away today.

“We don't like that,” Zolinski said. “We don't want laws that will remove our freedoms, burn all that. Take it away, please. We don't want it.”

Quinn said the country needs to move beyond left and right, and people need to acknowledge their own party's faults.

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“The issues with the country shouldn't be a right or left issue,” he said. “We just want to restore America to what it once was.”


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