On Thursday Nov. 10 over 70 people gathered for anti-Trump rally at the Mall at Sears parking lot. Protesters waved signs and shouted chants of ‘This is what democracy looks like,’ ‘My body, my choice. Their body, their choice,’ and ‘Love Trumps hate.’ The ‘peaceful demonstration against Trump,’ as it was called on its Facebook event, was organized by UAA art major Jess Bunag after seeing protests that were happening elsewhere in the country.
“I was seeing all the protests in the lower 48, and I felt like we needed one here. I felt really passionate about it. I wasn’t sure we could get any sort of turnout at all, so I put some feelers out, and surprisingly there were a lot of people interested,” Bunag said.
Bunag created the event on Facebook the night before the rally was held and she spent the day of the rally advertising with posters and social media.
“I think I created the event at maybe ten o’clock last night. I made some signs, I put a ton of flyers out at UAA,” Bunag said. “I was pretty much sprinting back and forth from campus from like eight o’clock this morning and of course my lovely girlfriend was helping me spread posters all over the place too.”
Bunag said she hosted the protest because she wants some recognition that the electoral college is a broken system and that she wants people disenfranchised by Trump rhetoric to know their are people that support them.
“I think the electoral college is a broken system that doesn’t reflect what people want. I think it’s archaic ‘cause I think people are intelligent enough to make their own choices in this day and age and they should be able to have a direct democracy where we get to truly choose our leaders,” Bunag said. “I mean I would love to think that Donald Trump is going to see all of these protests and be better than he is, but I don’t think so. I mean I just want people who are put in danger because of this to know there are people that stand with them.”
Deanna Walkup protested at the rally, holding a sign that said ‘Gay and terrified.’ Walkup hopes that the anti-Trump rally will demonstrate that Trump comments should not be normalized.
“I’m not going to sit here and cry foul, like recount or whatever, because I’m going to accept, like, yes we are stuck with this orange carrot as President,” Walkup said. “I definitely cried because I don’t want to live in this kind of world where this sort of thing is normalized… I’m hoping for the next four years, only four years, is that Trump just flakes on everything he’s ever said because he’s done it before. He’s totally been like, ‘What? I didn’t say that,’ so hopefully he’ll do that. But you don’t know, you don’t know and that’s terrifying to know that we have a President and Vice President where conversion therapy is okay.”
Walkup, like most people at the rally, was surprised and disappointed by the election results and how inaccurately the polls reported Trump support.
“There’s probably a lot of people who secretly supported Trump and didn’t say anything about it so they’re secret and they just came out full force,” Walkup said. “There’s some people who are probably terrified to go out and vote period. I know there were some people who didn’t like the candidates we have so they just decided not to vote, which isn’t great either. But I think it’s mostly racial tension, a lot of people were scared to go out and vote and you know the people who weren’t won.”
Nic Feild showed up at the anti-Trump rally after seeing a post about it on Twitter. Feild was holding a sign that said, ‘Love is love is love is love.’
“[The sign] is [a quote] from Lin-Manuel Miranda. He was the creator of Hamilton the musical and when he accepted his Tony, this was part of his speech, and it’s sort of become a personal mantra for me because I’m a gay man and so I want love to be all I have and they’re trying to take that away from me and trying to take away my right to love whoever I want and it’s disgusting,” Feild said.
Feild said he was amazed by how many people came to the rally. He said the amount of people protesting was encouraging and showed a general support of human rights and beliefs.
“I hope to open people’s eyes that we’re not just going to sit quietly and take this,” Feild said. “We’re going to fight back every way we can to keep our rights and keep our freedoms. I always support peace over violence but in this case I think that speaking your voice and protesting like this it is still a peaceful protest.”
Trump’s inauguration will be held next year on Jan. 20, 2017.