By ROBERT COCANOUGHER / Editor-in-Chief
Last night there was an anti-trump rally at the Capitol Building. Protesters carried signs with various messages. There were the usual Love Trumps Hate signs, as well as a depiction of Trump as humpty dumpty, one implying an alliance between Trump and Putin, and various messages promoting the LGBT and minority communities. Of special note was a Trump-Pence yard sign with a swastika painted over it. Across the street, a handful of counter-protesters were lined up holding pro-Trump signs. One Trump supporter even walked over to the Capitol green holding a sign with “get over it” written in sharpie.
The Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) helped organize the event, and many of their members were walking around wearing orange vests and leading chants. Some of the chants included a call and response of “not my president,” and plenty of other things such as “no Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA” and a call and response of “show me what democracy looks like, this is what democracy looks like.”
I spoke with one of the organizers of the event, a member of the SDS. I asked her what the end result of the protests would be, ideally, to which she responded that the protests had a goal. That is, their goal was to promote equality between races, genders, and humanity in general. Other members of the protest told me that this cause was something important to them, and it was important for them to see other members of the community who were as afraid as they were of the new President-Elect. And certainly, many of the signs they held promoted love, LGBT rights, racial unity, and other such causes.
Just before 6:00 PM, the protest took to the street as the protesters blocked off the intersection of Apalachee and Monroe. Here the chants changed to “who’s streets? Our streets” and “If we don’t get it, shut it down.” Which is something they accomplished. Officers in the area circled the protesters and in short order had the streets blocked off as far down as I could see. In the midst of the blue lights and some traffic still trickling through, the protestors only got louder, asking for democracy and revolution.
I spoke with a Trump Supporter who was participating across the street who told me that he was an organizer for the Veterans day parade, and was fuming due to the fact that he had to go through all sorts of hoops and city bureaucracy in order to get these streets shut down for a parade, and the protesters simply walked out into the street to block them off.
Another Trump supporter that I spoke with stated that he didn’t understand what exactly they were protesting. He cited that Trump isn’t anyone’s president at the moment and that they were chanting about policies that hadn’t been enacted yet, and alongside that multiple causes were presented at the protest, rather than any single unified one.
Fortunately, no violence broke out at the event. Eventually the police decided it was time for the protestors to move back onto the green, and so they did, taking once more to the steps of the Capitol building. Many were proud of the turnout, a few hundred people were marching around the capitol building. But around seven, it was time for them to disband. Though the protests aren’t over yet, as the SDS representative I spoke to told me they were planning another around inauguration.