(Photo: Victoria Fennell)
Since the announcement of the 2016 presidential election results, protests have broken out across the nation rejecting the victory of Donald Trump.
In New York City, daily events have taken place since November 8th, hosted by anti-Trump groups and concerned citizens. Black Lives Matter organized a “Not My President” protest on Saturday, November 12. Thousands of people from both the USA and around the world attended.
Instead of the usual sounds of traffic, the streets of Manhattan were filled with the yells and chants of the people. The shock of the election took the country by storm—the predictions of most polls did not see a Trump victory coming. In an already volatile election season, many felt let down by the message of hate and intolerance that they believe a Trump victory suggests.
Chants filled the city air, from the imaginative such as “Can’t build a wall, hands are too small” to the popular and hashtagged cry of “Not my president!”
Everyone had a message and was there for their own reasons, but a unifying theme of the event was that love “trumps” hate.
“As a first generation Muslim immigrant in this country, we know New York as home to diversity. New York is the best city in the world because we welcome everyone,” said SUNY student Haris Khan. “His election shows that there is room for bigotry everywhere in this country and we want to stand up here with our fellow New Yorkers, stand against his bigotry, his hatred and his xenophobia.”
Protesters gathered at Union Square for the march towards Trump Tower, and the police blocked the streets off for the massive crowd.
The people, as many suggest, were not “cry baby millennials”, but spanned a generational line from children to elderly. The march was for everyone, no matter race, age, gender, sexual orientation or citizen status.
Overall, the protest was peaceful. At one point two people decided to test the police patience by threatening to jump the barrier. One woman did, resulting in her arrest, but apart from her a few scuffles with the metal gates was all the disobedience the police had to face. There was a mutual respect between the cops and the protesters.
As the sun set the crowd took to the streets, walking between cars to either the honks of support matching their chants or the glares of the unhappy commuters trapped by the flood of people. They marched past the New York Public Library and through Times Square, claiming the streets to mixed reactions.
The protest was almost entirely anti-Trump, although that didn’t stop a few people on the street from voicing their opposing opinion. A fundamental American right is the right to protest, and pro-Trump comments drew more interest in conversation than backlash.
“We’re gonna do this for the next 4 years or sooner if he gets impeached but we’re going to fight for and organize our communities as much as possible. We’re not going to let him get away with all this hatred. We’re gonna stand and organize against him,” said Khan.
People are still reeling from the results of the election, for better or for worse. It seems until the public discovers the motives and plans from the president-elect, there will be more protests.
Whether a Trump candidacy will be fueled by hate, as the protesters believe, remains to be seen.