Trump pro­test­ers: stu­dents, im­mi­grants, an­ar­chists and more

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS - By Ter­rence Petty

PORT­LAND, ORE. >> Donald Trump says the thou­sands of men and women tak­ing to the streets to protest his elec­tion are “pro­fes­sional pro­test­ers in­cited by the me­dia.” But who are they re­ally? The an­swer varies from state to state. The crowds in­clude high school stu­dents, im­mi­grants and an­ar­chists.

“There’s no pro­fes­sional pro­test­ers here,” said Jennie Luna, a 40-year-old pro­fes­sor of Chi­cano stud­ies at Cal­i­for­nia State Univer­sity Chan­nel Is­lands, just north of Los An­ge­les.

The day af­ter the elec­tion, she or­ga­nized what she called a “self-care cir­cle of courage” on cam­pus for stu­dents who needed an out­let for their dis­tress over Trump’s win. The event mor­phed into a rally and march that lasted sev­eral hours.

“I am fear­ful for what will hap­pen to the un­doc­u­mented, I’m fear­ful of los­ing my re­pro­duc­tive rights,” she said. “And I’m fear­ful of the un­known.”

Amer­ica’s new pres­i­dent has made many prom­ises about changes to “make Amer­ica great again,” such as un­do­ing some reg­u­la­tions on com­pa­nies.

He has also made pro­nounce­ments that have struck fear within cer­tain groups of Amer­i­cans — women, Lati­nos, peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties and racial mi­nori­ties, among them. The protests that have spread across the na­tion are against Trump, but more point­edly, they are ex­pres­sions of con­cern about how per­sonal lives could change.

Isadora Cle­mente Zurie, 21, was among those at a Thurs­day night protest in Salt Lake City, Utah, rid­ing in her wheel­chair with the crowd.

“I’m dis­abled and I’m LGBT. I’ve been bul­lied all my life” she told The Salt Lake Tri­bune. “Now I’m in a world where for just be­ing me, I could lose my en­tire life.”

Col­lege stu­dents whose par­ents moved to the United States il­le­gally are wor­ried that Trump will fol­low through with his threat to re­scind Pres­i­dent Obama’s ex­ec­u­tive or­der that pro­tects young im­mi­grants from de­por­ta­tion.

At a Thurs­day night protest in Philadel­phia, 23-yearold Jea­nine Feito held a sign that read “Not 1 More De­por­ta­tion.”

Protest or­ga­niz­ers are us­ing a tool that Trump made such ef­fec­tive use of — so­cial me­dia. Tweets and Face­book posts have called peo­ple to demon­stra­tions across the coun­try. Trump’s elec­tion spawned a pop­u­lar new hash­tag: “Not My Pres­i­dent.”

Izzy Steel had never par­tic­i­pated in a protest un­til this week, when she demon­strated out­side Trump Tower in Chicago.

Both­ered by Trump’s state­ments about women and im­mi­grants, the 23-year-old act­ing stu­dent, who voted for Hil­lary Clin­ton, heard about the event on Face­book.

“Even when you lose, it’s im­por­tant to show you’re not de­feated,” Steel said. “It was more about show­ing that we won’t lie down or suc­cumb to the ha­tred.”

She planned to protest again in the com­ing weeks.

“I’m just more hu­mil­i­ated than any­thing that he is rep­re­sent­ing my coun­try,” she said.

Some of the protests are oc­cur­ring in cities with a his­tory of po­lit­i­cal ac­tivism such as Port­land. In the 1990s, the staff of then Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush dubbed the city “Lit­tle Beirut” be­cause of the demon­stra­tions his vis­its pro­voked.

An or­ga­nizer of the Port­land anti-Trump protests is 23-year-old Gre­gory McKelvey, who has been a spokesman for the black ac­tivist group Don’t Shoot Port­land.

At a Thurs­day night protest by about 4,000 peo­ple, masked an­ar­chists march­ing with the oth­er­wise peace­ful pro­test­ers smashed Port­land store win­dows with base­ball bats, among other acts of may­hem. The protest be­came a riot and ended with 25 ar­rests.

On Fri­day, McKelvey de­fended the demon­stra­tion.

“It was our aim to chan­nel the shared frus­tra­tion, fear and anger that is so alive among so many of us,” he said in state­ment.

He dis­avowed the ri­ot­ers: “The violent ac­tions that oc­curred last night had ab­so­lutely noth­ing to do with our group.”

In Louisville, Ken­tucky, 23-year-old Mal­lie Felt­ner looked online for an event to vent her frus­tra­tion but found none. So she de­cided to or­ga­nize her own. The call spread through so­cial me­dia and more than 1,000 peo­ple showed up Thurs­day night. They chanted about women’s rights, gay rights, the rights of im­mi­grants and African-Amer­i­cans.

“My fo­cus is show­ing sol­i­dar­ity to all of the peo­ple who felt dis­heart­ened and afraid like I did Wed­nes­day morn­ing,” she said. “I want them to feel heard. I want them to know I’m not go­ing to be­come com­plicit in it.”


Pro­test­ers gather Thurs­day in Pi­o­neer Court­house Square in Port­land, Ore.

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