PHOTO BY PHOEBE LAIDLEY-COLLIAS
Since Donald Trump’s election last Tuesday, there has been an outpouring of emotion over the results, ranging from exuberation to anger and fear. Those on the latter end joined one another in City Hall Park in Burlington on Friday to peacefully protest President-elect Donald Trump. This is part of a trend across the country of anti-Trump activism based on his beliefs and policy standpoints.
The peaceful protest started with speeches from whomever wanted to speak. At 7 p.m. attendees marched up Church Street before returning to City Hall Park. The night continued with stories of personal accounts of feeling marginalized or even physically abused due to race, gender, and/or ethnicity. Many people held signs, from professionally manufactured to sharpie on cardboard, describing their thoughts on the election. A pamphlet was handed around notifying the community about a white supremacist organization in Burlington. Free candles were passed out to the crowd and a lighter was passed from one person to the next.
Kelly Ford brought her six-year-old daughter Gloria to the rally because Hillary Clinton’s rhetoric about the impact on young girls throughout her campaign inspired her as a mother and activist.
Burlington High School students Lina Ginawi and Kiran Waqar performed slam poetry about how stereotypes lend themselves to an inaccurate and negative image of Muslims who end up bearing the brunt of the backlash. They wove their emotional experiences as well as others’ experiences into their words.
Champlain College student Jed Myers said, “When a homeless man yelled ‘go back to Mexico’… First I was a little bit bitter. But it’s alright to be a bit bitter right now. It’s alright to be bitter and angry for the next four years so he [Trump] can hear it.”
The message they send is clear: Trump is not fit for the presidency and they will continue to fight and stand up for equality and acceptance.