Staff Recs: Best Inaugural Protest Signs


Phoebe Kuo

WSN staff talk about their favorite protest posters

WSN Staff

Our Deputy Social Media Editor Phoebe Kuo snapped the above photo above while she attended the Emergency Rally at Washington Square Park on Wednesday.

“It seems like a very odd protest slogan, but the protester explained to me that she would never have had the right to marry someone outside her religion, nor could she go to the protest in Washington, D.C.,” Kuo said. “It’s a very unique slogan, and people constantly asked about it. She patiently told everyone (including the old lady in this photo and a reporter) that she wants to remind people how precious freedom is.”

Here are some of our other staff favorites:

This sign really resonated with me when I first saw it. When I was home over winter break, I had a painfully honest conversation with my father about the possibility of Chinese-American internment, considering the United States’ rising tensions with China. A week after that, my boyfriend — whose family is Muslim, though he himself does not practice — and I had to come to terms with the reality of a registry and maybe even internment camps. What we had thought for the last year was impossible has already happened, even if none of us want to admit it. But this sign is a powerful reminder that the wardens of history are still watching. It gives me hope knowing that our communities are looking out for each other, and that living knowledge of prejudice is still out there. If we get to the point where we can no longer hope, I feel reassured knowing that there are those who will help fight. — Emily Fong, Interactive Editor

As a white woman, I’ve been doing my best to be a feminist in the best way possible — meaning not speaking over more marginalized groups and not taking up too much space in any given situation. It’s hard for me to face the fact that of the sub-demographics within women, white women were the only race that favored Trump. It’s not something I’m proud of, and it’s always a process to come to terms with the fact that the feminist movement has never been racially equal, and still isn’t. But this sign, as uncomfortable as it makes me, is also what I and other white women need to remember — that the onus is on us, and that it’s our responsibility to face that. Every demographic of non-white people voted for Hillary Clinton. White women could have had one of their own as president, and still elected a misogynist, racist, transphobic, homophobic, science-denying pathological liar. We’ve got work to do. — Hailey Nuthals, Arts Editor

As much as I hate the term “woke,” I have to say my favorite protest sign — one which actually resonated quite deeply with me — was held by a toddler that read, “I (heart) naps but I stay woke.” This picture was amazing for many reasons. First, this young Asian American child is the next generation ready to combat the myth of Asian American passivity in politics. Also, he is in Charlotte, NC, a state that went red by three percent — approximately 200,000 people. His participation, as somebody who is not yet eligible to vote, gives me hope for future generations engaging in democracy, because the political climate in even a handful of election cycles could look very different than it appears today. He is a great first glimmer of confidence for that change. And my last, most salient reason for enjoying this photo is simply his word choice on the sign that represents my constant inner struggle and mindset: to somehow stay slept while also staying woke. — Diamond Naga Siu, Editor-in-Chief

This is by far the best sign, because it is so relatable. We all love naps, but sometimes they have to be put on pause in order to fight for what we believe in. Also, how adorable is this little kid? Look at his cheeks! — Renee Yang, Deputy Photo Editor

This is one of my favorite posters from the Women’s Marches that took place throughout the country, because it completely reflects how I feel every time I read another article about President Trump. When I read about recent comments he made or executive orders he signed, I’m always tempted to ask, “Is this satirical?” His behavior and opinions seem more befitting of an “American Horror Story” villain than the president of the United States. It’s still difficult for me to accept that Trump’s presidency is not part of a cosmic joke or a bizarre television show; this is real life. — Sierra Jackson, Co-Managing Editor

This sign, aside from being aesthetically pleasing and incredibly eye-catching — the white words on black paper against the backdrop of night — is extremely clever. I found this sign while running around the emergency rally CAIR-NY on Wednesday, Jan. 25, in support of immigrant and Muslim rights. It’s a direct jab at our dear President Trump’s claims that Hillary Clinton rigged the election. It’s classy, sharp and can definitely be reused at the protests and rallies that are sure to come in the future. Good on you, rally-goer. — Kaitlyn Wang, Co-Managing Editor