‘Stop Trump’ and Black Lives Matter protestors join forces

By: Regina Wright ~Campus News Editor~

Photo courtesy of Antonia Ramirez | Pictured left to right, juniors Clahe Jones, Antonia Ramirez, Jamie Sarkozi and Zeina Farhat joined the “Stop Trump” and Black Lives Matter protests downtown this weekend.

“No Justice, No Peace” echoed through the streets of downtown Cincinnati as more than 2,000 protestors gathered to demonstrate against the President-elect and the recent mistrial of Ray Tensing.

After the Presidential Election on Nov. 8, Donald J. Trump was declared President-elect. The results were considered upsetting after Hillary Clinton was predicted to win by The New York Times, The Huffington Post and other major news outlets. After the announcement many demonstrators participated in walk-outs and protests, some of which turned into riots.

“I do not believe that I or anyone else deserves to live in a country where the president and vice president elect are narrow- minded bigots and have made racist, homophobic, sexist, predatory, etc. comments against a huge population of our country,” Antonia Ramirez, a junior international studies major, said. “I am a proud Latina, and I can not believe that a man this horrific won the electoral college. I am with her and will always be until we shatter the glass ceiling for good. Hillary won the popular vote, he is not my president.”

The “Peaceful Protest to Stop Trump in Cincinnati” was created by Jacob Gordon, an organizer of the “Stop Trump” movement. “Please join our peaceful protest in Cincinnati, Ohio to stop Trump from oppressing minorities across America,” Gordon posted on the group’s Facebook page. “We are fighting for the protection of marriage equality, prochoice for women, and protection of immigrants from deportation.

“This is our first rally to mobilize the American base to defend our democracy. We as Americans have witnessed Trump inciting hatred against Muslims, immigrants, women, the disabled. We have seen him evidencing dangerous tendencies that threaten the bedrock of democracy: unleashing a lynch mob mentality against protestors, calling for the expulsion of Muslims from the country, bullying and fear-mongering. We as Americans do not support this ideology.”

The protest was originally planned for Nov. 12 from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. at Fountain Square but was moved to Nov. 19 after the mistrial of the Ray Tensing case was announced. However, the protest continued due to popular demand and protestors attended despite the date change.

“This was my very first protest,” Katherine Hohl, a junior nursing major, said. “I went into it with some excitement and apprehension. I was excited to gather together with people who shared my political views, but I was nervous that this protest was going to turn into a riot. I liked feeling the sense of camaraderie with people who are just as scared and devastated as I am about the results of this election.”

The “Stop Trump” protest began at Fountain Square and the Black Lives Matter protest began at the Hamilton County Courthouse. The two protests merged into one near Washington Park.

“The BLM [movement] is cohesive with the anti-Trump movement,” Ramirez said. “I don’t believe that you can be for Trump and believe in the Black Lives Matter movement. Trump doesn’t respect Black lives.”

As different “Stop Trump” protests continue to sweep across the nation, different themes run through them: immigration, women’s rights and civil rights.

“Although I do not think that this protest is going to change the results of this election, it was a great way for me to cope with these awful election results,” Hohl said. “It was powerful to see people of all different backgrounds come together for a common cause. It was exhilarating to march through the streets while people in cars would honk their horns at you. The entire protest had vibes of sadness, anger, and fear.”

Protestors marched for a about two hours, moving from Fountain Square along Vine Street to Washington Park and back. During the march, chants such as “Love Trumps hate,” “No justice, no peace, no racists police,” “Hands up, don’t shoot” and “Not my president” could be heard from the protestors.

“My favorite chant was ‘Love Trumps hate,’” Hohl said. “Trump’s sexist and racist talk on the campaign trail is the reason why I dislike him and the idea of him being president so much. I really do think that world would be a better place if people lived by that phrase. No matter what Trump and his administration end up doing during his stint as presidency, people can get through this together if we treat each other as humans who all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Trump does not live by those ideals.”

Toward the end of the protest, a moment of silence was held for Sam DuBose. This was followed by several speeches from community members.

“I did have a favorite speech. She was part of the BLM movement,” junior Mollie Walters said. “It didn’t seem like she was giving a speech, it sounded more like a poem. She said, ‘this generation isn’t lost. This generation is scared. Like a wounded animal desperate to protect whatever we have left.’ She said we forget the beauty in everything we have, and so we destroy it. ‘This isn’t the future we envisioned, and that’s why we’re mad… Even if the point was to teach us all a lesson, if I’m killed over a civil disagreement, we all know who the judicial system is protecting.’”

The protest raised fears in Cincinnati as other protests across the nation like those in Oregon and California, have turned into riots. However, the Cincinnati protests remained peaceful.

“As a whole, I thought the protest was great. It was powerful. It inspired me. All these strangers came together for the same fight, it was beautiful,” Walters said. “It was actually the anti-Trump protest that joined in with the BLM movement. It was amazing. Everyone cheered and gladly shared chants. We were essentially fighting for the same things, justice and peace and eliminating hate. The joining of the two groups just made it that much more powerful. We may have been protesting different things, but we showed compassion and love for each other, and that is exactly what this country needs right now.”

The second “Stop Trump” protest will be held on Nov. 19, and over 400 Facebook users have tagged themselves as attending the event.

“I love protests and plan on attending another one,” Ramirez said. “I think our generation spends too much time online complaining and not enough time campaigning. The most effective way to get people to listen and to make change is to take action. While a hashtag has proven to be very effective, the national coverage that protests and marches get is more noticeable. It’s also amazing to see that it’s not just our generation. It’s people of all ages, ethnicities, sexual orientations and social classes coming together to try and get people to listen and make change.”