Shouts of “this is what democracy looks like” could be heard from Union Square to 56th street as thousands of New Yorkers marched on Wednesday night to protest Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States. Protesters of all ages carried signs and chanted for the nearly one-hour walk to the Trump Tower on 5th Avenue.
The protest was organized by Socialist Alternative, who, according to their website, is a national organization fighting against the injustices and exploitation that people face everyday.
Daniel Kroop is a member of SA and helped organize the rally. He said that the the event was planned in the early hours of the morning, and other branches of SA have planned similar events.
“We called for marches and rallies and protests across the country to show the need to unite and fight against Trump’s hateful agenda,” Kroop said. “In general, we’re just trying to collect forces of working people and other people to fight back against this terrible Trump presidency.”
The protesters blocked traffic as they swarmed the streets, causing NYPD to threaten to arrest anyone obstructing traffic. This prompted the group to begin chanting, “Whose streets? Our streets.”
Protesters from NYU said they felt a duty to protest the election’s outcome.
“I went to the rally because I feel increasingly compelled to move, to be active, to actively take part in the change I want to see,” CAS freshman Allie Monck said. “I think those of us who have the time and energy to do something have an obligation to do so.”
When the rally arrived outside the Trump Tower, chants began to focus more on controversial topics from Trump’s campaign such as his stance on refugees, past comments about women and his perspective on religious and racial equality. The chant “Sí se puede” deafened onlookers for almost a minute straight.
Steinhardt freshman Tina Zhou said that although she isn’t from the United States, she has been following the election very closely and was upset by the result last night. She felt that to be around other like-minded people would soften the blow of this surprising decision for her.
“As horrible as I felt, I imagined my American friends must have felt much, much worse,” Zhou said. “I felt that going to the rally with my friends was the least I could do to offer some support.”
Zhou said that she is completely appalled by Trump and can’t comprehend how he was even qualified to be considered a presidential candidate in the first place.
“He was barely a successful businessman with no political experience. At least Clinton is a properly qualified candidate, with almost 40 years of a political career,” Zhou said. “[Trump’s] scandals are literally uncountable: sexual assault, blatant racism, refusing to pay his workers, you name it — normally one piece of such news would suffice to destroy a candidate, yet such a large majority of the country is still willing to vote this man to lead their nation.”
CAS freshman Jordan Hirn said that although he was disappointed in the election’s result, he found solidarity by going to the protest.
“It was cool to be around everyone who felt the same way,” Hirn said. “The vibe was really cool, and it was pretty fun to walk in the street and have taxi cabs honk because they agree or have people scream ‘fuck you’ because they disagree.”
In a last-ditch effort, protesters hope that the backlash against Trump’s victory can potentially change the outcome of the election.
“The electoral votes aren’t official until around December 19,” Hirn said. “So big rallies like this and the ones that are across the country right now do have an impact and can, even though it’s a small probability, sway the election and get Trump out of the White House, because he doesn’t deserve to be there.”
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