By Alex Eng and Alejandro Serrano, news staff
“Not my President” shouted thousands of protesters throughout downtown Boston Wednesday night at a demonstration opposing the presidential election of Republican Donald J. Trump.
Protesters marched to the Massachusetts State House and Copley Square from the Parkman Bandstand in the Boston Common, blocking off streets. The rally was organized by Boston Socialist Alternative, Boston Socialist Students and Boston Movement for the 99%.
“I do not feel safe right now,” said Sabrina Barroso, a Boston-based activist for immigrant education and rights. “I did not go out and vote for this to happen. I love my country, and I expect my country to love me, too. Trump has perpetuated the idea that it is okay to harass people that don’t look like his typical supporter.”
There were a little more than 4,000 demonstrators, and no reported incidents or arrests, according to Boston Police Department spokesperson James Kenneally.
“We’re protesting against Trump because of his bigotry, sexism and racism,” said Juho Lee, a freshman at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. “We cannot have him as president. All our lives are in danger […] We’re fighting for our lives.”
Other protesters shared their concerns about Trump, citing fears of violence against minorities.
“As international students, we’re at a very precarious point right now,” said Frankie Concepcion, a Northeastern graduate student studying arts and education. “A lot of people are scared of what’s going to happen when we come back from Christmas break.”
Trump, who once called for a partial ban on Muslims entering the U.S., incited fear amongst some Boston Muslims, said Negin Taleb, a Boston University senior and anti-Islamophobia activist.
“I’ve got my friends who are anxious to go to class […] and are taking off their hijabs for the first time because they don’t want people to know they’re Muslim,” Taleb said.
Mass Action Against Police Brutality (MAAPB) also voiced their disapproval of Trump, who has supported reviving stop-and-frisk policing methods.
“If this was my country, black people would not be being gunned down in the streets,” said Fred Hampton, a MAAPB activist. “The police are never gonna arrest people like Donald Trump.”
Activists from Socialist Alternative voiced their concerns against a Republican-controlled White House and Congress, suggesting that the two-party system had failed the electorate in 2016.
“The threat that the Trump presidency poses is real,” said Toya Chester, a spokesperson from Socialist Alternative. “Those Democrats have proved they are not capable […], and that’s why we need a new party. We need to build a party of the 99 percent.”
Similar anti-Trump protesters filled the streets of numerous other cities across the U.S. – including New York City, San Francisco and Chicago – following Trump’s call for national healing.
“Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division,” Trump said during his victory speech early Wednesday morning. “It is time for us to come together as one united people. It’s time.”
The demonstration was the beginning of a movement, said Elan Axelbank, a senior sociology major and member of Northeastern Socialist Alternative.
“We’re going to have to keep doing this, because Donald Trump is going to be president for four years,” Axelbank said before the crowd, as the night ended.
Photo by Scotty Schenck