[image-1] Joining the growing number of demonstrations raging around the country, dozens marched on Marion Square Saturday afternoon to protest the election of Donald Trump as the next president of the United States.
[slideshow-1] Chants of “Love trumps hate,” “We gone be alright,” and “This is what democracy looks like” carried on for more than hour as the group congregated around the fountain at the corner of King and Calhoun streets. Shouts of “Trump is not our president” were punctuated with the response “Yet” from a counter-protester across the street holding a sign that read “Free hugs to #MAGA” — meaning to “Make America great again.” A few there to speak out against President-elect Trump took the man up on his offer, sharing an embrace as others gathered.
For Emmanuel Lopez Rivera, a young man dressed in a suit and tie and carrying a sign reading “Latinos Contra Trump,” the afternoon was an opportunity to speak out against what he sees as a degradation of the national ideals that drew his family to America.
“I came from Mexico about six years ago. My parents are immigrants. They both taught me well, and I know I was told this was a promise land. And I have seen it as a promise land up until the hate and silent majority started rising up,” said Rivera, his throat hoarse from more than an hour of protesting. “I always disagreed with Donald Trump since the beginning. He has made racist remarks. He has made homophobic remarks. He’s triggered people’s hate to gain support. I think we are better than that. The fundamentals that the United States are founded on are way more than that. It’s not based on hate.”
Waving a rainbow flag in the midst of the crowd of demonstrators mostly consisting of students, Danny Lewis saw the protest as a way to not only show opposition to a Trump presidency, but also a clear sign that the younger generation can and will not be dismissed.
“To me what this all means is that I feel that there is a sort of permeating societal gaslighting that goes in to when any politics plays with the millennials. We’ve always been characterized as the ‘lazy millennials’ and all that jazz. But then this happens, when we’re actually taking time and taking action, we’re all just told we’re a bunch of crybabies,” said Lewis. “Everything we do and everything we try to do is always being perpetually shit on. And I just want to take my time, and I just want to do what is right and overcome any stereotype that any overpowered narcissistic individual will tell me that I am doing wrong.”
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