At marches, protesters confront burning question: What is the next step?

Protesters say they were mobilized by Trump’s election to ‘do something.’ But even as they march they wonder how best to use their own time and how such a broad movement can achieve real goals.

Published Feb. 3, 2017

As he watched President Trump sign one executive order after another, Neal Gokli decided he no longer could do nothing.

On Monday, Mr. Gokli drove 50 miles from Upland, Calif., to Los Angeles International Airport to protest against barring refugees from seven Muslim majority countries temporarily from entering the United States.

Gokli stayed the night at LAX. Part of the reason was that his father was set to arrive from India on Tuesday, and Gokli wanted to be there to greet him. But also, “I was just feeling like I’m not doing anything,” he says amid the chants of demonstrators nearby. “Coming here at least has energized me and gotten me into motion.”

Yet Gokli wonders what his next move would be. He could call his representatives, he says, but he doesn’t know what to say. He’s unsure how much of a difference demonstrations could really make long-term.

“I hope they can keep going. Because this is really scary,” Gokli says. “But … does it help? I don’t know.”

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