Jurassic Parks Service?
On Wednesday, a parade of prehistoric creatures marched through the United States capitol, Washington, D.C. and demonstrated in front of the White House.
The Tyrannosaurus Rex’s were protesting Donald Trump’s “proposed cuts to national service programs such as the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps,” according to The Hill.
The signs they carried in their tiny hands bore such slogans as “Stop ational service extinction.”
The protest was in response to Trump’s 2018 budget proposal which proposes cuts to the Corporation for National and Community Service, which includes AmeriCorps and other such programs.
After appearing at the White House for the first time in millions of years the T-Rex’s also marched to Capitol Hill to appeal to Congressional members, those who would have the ultimate deciding power on Trump’s proposed budget.
USA Today reportedly that one dinosaur shouted “We’re coming to get you!’ as the dinosaurs made their way towards Congress.
The demonstration was organized by Service Year Alliance, “an organization relentlessly pursuing a bold vision—making a year of paid, full-time service a common expectation and opportunity for all young Americans,” according to serviceyear.org.
According to their website, Service Year Alliance believes that “service years at scale can help repair broken cities, uplift and educate children at risk, and empower communities struggling with poverty. It can unite the most diverse nation in history, binding people of different backgrounds through common cause, deepening their connection to each other and our communities.”
They definitely achieved a decent amount of unity with this latest demonstration; unless, of course, you’re strictly a velociraptor kind of person.
The demonstration was predicted to have approximately 100 participants; though, dressed as one of the most intimidating dinosaurs known to man—and, honestly, dressed as dinosaurs period—they definitely got attention.
The Daily Caller summed it up creatively: “If you can’t dazzle ‘em with your brilliance, baffle ‘em with your dinosaur costumes.”
USA Today reported that the “people dressed up in gigantic, plastic T. rex suits” “roared and stampeded across the Capitol lawn on Wednesday morning.”
The demonstration was associated with the hashtag #LetUsServe.
Per the latest government statistics, AmeriCorps “mobilizes 4 million volunteers annually” along with “75,000 members annually” who “serve at 15,000 locations across the country.”
Projects focus on disaster, economic, educational and environmental services. “In response to the tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri on May 22nd, 2011, AmeriCorps teams organized a large-scale volunteer response center that recruited and supervised more than 75,000 volunteers…[that] operation…contributed more than 579,000 hours of services.”
AmeriCorps fights poverty “by creating businesses, expanding access to technology, recruiting volunteers to teach literacy, and strengthening antipoverty groups.” AmeriCorps places teachers, tutors and mentors “into low-performing schools” to help students succeed and gain vital skills for contemporary jobs. “Members [also] build trails, restore parks, protect watersheds, run recycling programs, and promote energy efficiency, weatherization, and clean energy.”
As Aly Ferguson of the Service Year Alliance told USA Today, “Dinosaurs are fun, [but] national service extinction is a serious matter.”
There are hundreds of AmeriCorps members currently depoloyed in Texas presently helping with Hurricane Harvey rescues and relief. “If the president’s budget becomes a reality” Ferguson said, “these people would not be there helping during this natural disaster.” The work AmeriCorps does also contributes to disaster destruction prevention by elevating impoverished and often most endangered communities, focusing on environmental issues and safety, and working on efforts like helping less capable citizens evacuate or protect themselves when necessary.
The White House argues that such programs should be privately funded even as it walks back Trump’s promise to donate $1 million of his own money to Hurricane Harvey relief mere days after he made the promise publicly.
Congress has the ultimate say on the 2018 budget and Ferguson and Service Year Alliance and their supporters hope that Congress will reject Trump’s proposal for getting rid of service programs.