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“Donald Trump Not-My-President” Lexington Protest

“Donald Trump Not-My-President” Lexington Protest

By Corey Bush
News Writer

November 14th, 2016 was the central day for the rallies. Berea College Students over the homecoming weekend participated in anti-Trump “Not My President” protests in Lexington.
A march was coordinated with police, effectively shutting down part of a street. Among the marching chants were: “The People United Will Never Be Divided,” “Dump Trump,” “Black Lives Matter,” “Show me what Community looks like,” “This is what Democracy looks like.”
The rally garnered attention on Facebook, the event called “Not my President- SAY NO TO TRUMP!” attracting 1000+ people and resulting with 3600+ people who had the event “shared with” on the social media site. The event was hosted by Noemi Lara-Rojo, a Lexington resident.
Becca Halpryn ‘18, Natasha Bleyl ‘19, Eddie Henderson ‘19, and Ana Ruplinger ‘18 were in attendance. After the protest, BC students shared their perspective with The Pinnacle.

Bleyl said, “I went to see how people interacted. I’ve never actually been to a protest before. I was there to help support my friends, because of the cause and felt that it was the perfect time to go. We let Lexington and the nearby cities know that so many people were there.”
Community building was a theme for the night. Bleyl said, “We need to depend on each other, and be kind to each other. Violence is not the answer. Being irrational and erratic is not going to solve anything. We have to remain peaceful and continue remembering what we’re fighting for.”

Halpryn said, “I went to the protest because I believe that a Trump presidency will result in the harm of many of the disenfranchised. I felt safe the entire time.
It was effective in that people saw people will take a stand against racism, sexism, homophobia etc. regardless of who our president is. I hope it was effective in the grand scheme of things, but that remains to be seen. I thought the protest was great; no protesters became violent, no onlookers became violent. It was a perfect example of democracy.”

Henderson said, “I went to spread awareness of the blatant racism, xenophobia, misogyny, the inculcated hatred of those different than us and to change it. I felt way too safe at this protest. It was effective if the goal was to continue the usage of a dilapidated, complacent political system. Continuing to contribute to a system that doesn’t work is the worst thing that could occur today. When I went to this protest, I hoped for more than empowerment speeches and a simple march. I expected more. Who knows?

Perhaps in time they’ll finally understand that by contributing to this system, they will realize the damage they’re doing.”
Ruplinger said, “I went to protect and stand with my comrades of all colors, creeds, religions, sexualities etc. in opposing hate speech and the threats they face to their livelihood. I felt very safe, almost sterile in how safe I felt.” “There was more we could have done. But this is the time that we all need to become a community” “It could have been better organized, with demands and initiatives at a local level articulated better, and better speakers,” said Ruplinger.

The event’s details section said, “Show out for justice!! We are against Donald Trump. We are against oppression. We are against racism, misogyny, transphobia, and xenophobia. We will not allow these things to take over our realities!!! We do not know the struggles ahead of us, but we must fight and unite all working people, all oppressed communities, against the coming Trump agenda. The people didn’t elect Trump, the system did!”

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