Not that I’ve ever been Joe Patriot, but I am not feeling the Independence Day spirit this year. Every year since Donald Trump made it into the White House has been awful, but the cognitive dissonance is too much in 2019. I cannot celebrate -let alone acknowledge- that our country threw off the shackles of an unaccountable tyrant when we throw children who have committed no crime in cages.

Here are some people properly celebrating.

Chanting “Never again means close the camps” and “Never again is now,” a group of 33 protesters formed a human chain across Market Street, barring the Mill Creek Fire Company from continuing the procession. Police removed the protesters — wrists pressed against their backs — from the street soon after they sat down in the street.

“We believe this action was necessary because on a day like today, on the Fourth of July — the celebration of freedom and justice in our country — we found it ironic and believe it is abundantly clear that in America right now there are people who are not free, who are not receiving justice, who are not receiving independence,” said Pele Irgangladen, one of the organizers.

I believe that’s my old friend Zoe right in the middle, wearing glasses.

I’m spending the day getting ready for my annual trip to Philadelphia and New England. I have so much to bring: an upright bass, a guitar, an amplifier, a tub of camping equipment, clothing, and more. Later, I’ll be throwing a cheap expensive steak on the grill for my housemate and me -it’s amazing what you can find in the manager’s special section- and probably pickin’ a few tunes out back if the rain lets up.

How are you enduring your freedom?

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