Thousands of US Girl Scouts protest being forced to march in Trump's inaugural parade

19 January 2017

Members of the Girls Scouts USA always march in presidential inaugural parades, but in view of allegations of president-elect Donald Trump's disrespect for women and teenage girls, a troop leader has started a petition to force the organisation to pull out of the big  event. A Junior troop leader, Heather C posted a message on saying- ''By marching in Donald Trump's inaugural parade, you are failing to live up to GSUSA's values. Please do not make Girl Scouts of the USA party to normalizing racism, misogyny, and fascism. Do not march in the inaugural parade,'' she wrote.

''Tradition is not a justification for normalizing Trump and his blatant misogyny. Just this week, 60 members of Congress announced that they will not attend the inauguration,'' Heather continued. ''We aren't required to do things just because we've done them in the past. What we are required to do, as Girl Scouts, is live by the Girl Scout Law. ''

She ended her message by saying, ''You are failing to live by your law, GSUSA. Donald Trump has proven, at every opportunity, that he lacks even the most basic respect for women and girls. Traditions that hurt our girls must be broken. We look to you, GSUSA, to model courage, confidence, and character and therefore you must pull out of the inaugural parade.''

In defence of their decision, the Girl Scouts issued a statement on their website Wednesday.

"At Girl Scouts, our movement is made up of individuals who hold political beliefs and convictions as varied as our nation itself," the group asserts. "And because every girl has a home at Girl Scouts, every girl in our movement is allowed her own ideas, opinions, beliefs and political ideology."

The group said it remains committed to empowering young women to be "advocates for the issues and ideas important to them" and to "become catalysts for change who strengthen their communities."

"Of course, we are a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that by law cannot take positions on political candidates or parties - and we take this very seriously," the statement adds. "Advocating for change on issues one cares about isn't at odds with participating in a century-long tradition that represents the peaceful exchange of power."

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