Part of our mission of “protect, preserve, and resist” includes raising our voices in these dangerous times to help preserve the institutions most vital to a democratic society. That includes a free and independent press. Already hollowed out by declining circulation, corporate mergers, and the struggle to find an Internet-Age business model, the mainstream press has now been targeted by an unprecedented campaign of delegitimization from the highest political office in the land.
Locally that includes The Lowell Sun.
And as we support the press, we also rely on them to get the word out on our efforts and activities, such as our town hall-style event with Representative Niki Tsongas. So we hope this article by Sun Correspondent Brendan Lewis, ‘All we can do is fight back,’ will be the start of a beautiful symbiotic relationship.
The 10-year-old Townsend boy, who has relatives in Iran, said he won’t be able to see them if the president’s proposed immigration restrictions take effect.
“Based on the ban by Donald Trump, I wouldn’t be able to see them anymore, which is really sad for me. I wouldn’t want that to happen,” said River, who attended the forum with his father, Michael. “And I just want it to change.”
U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas, who led the forum Saturday, told the boy it helps to remember that there are many others just like him, living with the same fears.
This powerful moment was one of many that won’t soon be forgotten by the roughly 700 event participants.
If those who read this story or watched the video on the Sun‘s website got even a taste of the day’s emotional roller coaster of speakers, they’ll have come away with increased awareness of how the Trump travel ban and other policies have already impacted local lives, and generally not for the better.
We can argue matters of policy until the Internet crashes under the weight of our rhetoric, but sometimes putting a human face on an issue is all it takes to bring it into perspective. No matter whether you are a Democrat, Independent, or Republican, how can you not feel for a child who fears that he may never see his grandparents again?
That’s something good journalism does well, part of the reason autocratic regimes throughout history have viewed a free and independent press as their enemy, and why we need our media outlets to cut through all the muck of irrelevance surrounding the diamonds of genuine importance.
Of course we realize the press isn’t perfect. One problem is that, in a rush to meet deadlines and get a story out while it’s still relevant, there are sometimes unavoidable errors or omissions. Or sometimes, when an interview is conducted amid the noise of a boisterous event, details can be misheard.
So in the interest of promoting good journalism, we offer The Sun some corrections to one particular section in an otherwise spot-on accurate article:
The local woman who started planning the event, Deborah Santoro, said the group focuses on three main principles: defensive, congressional and advocacy.
- The event was co-organized and co-sponsored by not one but five recently-formed organizations: Indivisible Groton Area, Indivisible Westford, Indivisible Acton, Indivisible Harvard, and Indivisible Littleton;
- Indivisible groups aren’t chapters of a larger organization, but are instead independently-formed and independently-run local entities;
- The Indivisible groups weren’t specifically formed to launch this event, but to promote many forms of dialogue, advocacy, and action for at least four to eight years, or as long as we are needed; and
- “Defensive congressional advocacy” is a single thing, the focus of the Indivisible Guide, based on the tactics put to such great effect by the Tea Party movement.
We look forward to working with The Sun in the years to come, telling important stories that need to be told, and defending First Amendment rights against the encroaching darkness.