Over 100 students showed up outside of Thompson Hall (T-Hall) to protest President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 15. With chants and songs, the students voiced their opposition to the controversial figure and his even more controversial policy proposals.
Since the election outcome last week, many individuals on social media and in the news have expressed their shock and outrage over Trump’s election. Many view him as a man unfit to serve in the presidency. Beginning Nov. 9, the day after the election, cities and schools across the country saw students, activists and others rally in the streets to protest Trump. These demonstrations often featured the chanting of “Not my president” and “Love trumps hate.”
For Tuesday’s protest, UNH students walked out of their classrooms and marched across campus voicing their dissent toward the election results. The controversy of Trump’s appointment as president has only grown larger as his White House staff and administration begins to fill up. It was announced on Nov. 13, that long time Breitbart News Chair Steve Bannon was chosen by Trump to serve as his chief strategist and senior counselor. Bannon has gathered intense criticism from both liberals and conservatives for pandering to and even embracing the alt right movement.
This is simply one case of controversy that has arisen since last Tuesday. There are a host of different issues that protestors, activists, scientists and others have called Trump out for, including his decision to elect climate change deniers as head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy. His promise to “drain the swamp” has so far gone unfulfilled as Washington and longtime Republican-insiders flood his nomination picks. Also, a plethora of lobbyists were counseling the Trump transition team until Vice President-elect Mike Pence took over.
After spending 12 hours on Election Day in an effort to encourage students to vote, UNH College Democrats member Elias Tyrrell-Walker went to the Hillary Clinton campaign office in Manchester with other students, where they watched her lose state by state until about 12:30 a.m. when the chances of her winning were no longer viable.
“I can’t really remember how I was feeling other than I was really dejected and empty…That first day was really rough,” Tyrrell-Walker said. “The days following that it became more clear that this isn’t the end of the world and regardless of what happens we’re going to make our voices heard.”
Tyrrell-Walker took part in protests over the weekend in Boston, where thousands marched. In cities ranging from San Diego to New York City, tens of thousands marched in protests, which for the most part, have been done peacefully. It cannot be ignored that some riots did break out in Portland, Oregon. Many in the media and on social media have criticized protestors for not giving Trump a chance, and it could be said that the protests may be premature considering he hasn’t taken office yet.
“I think a lot of the people that might think that have the wrong idea of what this is about. I think a lot of people think we’re saying ‘He shouldn’t be in office.’ I’m sure a lot of people think he shouldn’t be in office, but that’s not what this is about,” Tyrrell-Walker said. “He’s my president I understand that. What this is about is that we’re going to make our voices heard and we’re not going to let any of his crazy policies to slide through. We’re not going to be quiet if he tries to.”
UNH College Democrats President Elena Ryan attended the march, and she said that after several days in shock and pain over Trump’s election, she realized the potential for unity in an effort of opposing Trump and the Republican Congress.
“When you’re in the opposition, that invigorates people even more to take action. I am excited about that I am excited about the action we are going to see and I think there’s going to be more energy in fighting our local battles as well as our federal battles,” Ryan said. “People are going to show up and that’s all you can ask for.”