Local progressives react to Trump victory

Protests around the country reaction to Donald Trump’s ascension to the presidency have made their way to Claremont.

About 50 people, mostly students and faculty from the Claremont Colleges, convened at the corner of Indian Hill and Foothill Boulevards Wednesday evening to hold a candlelight vigil in the wake of the Republican nominee’s victory.

The vigil was coordinated by the local Inland Valley chapter of MoveOn.org and Democracy Now, and was in conjunction with other protests and vigils throughout the nation.

“I hope that whatever anyone’s positions are, they believe everyone has the right to be safe in this country,” Claudia Strauss, co-organizer of the Claremont/Inland Valley chapter of MoveOn.org, said.

Signs with messages such as “Love Trumps Hate,” “Our Children Deserve Better,” and “We Stand Together” peppered the vigil. Many of those who showed up were holding candles that flickered in the warm November air.

Carter Stripp, a sophomore Pitzer College, said a Trump presidency, along with a Republican controlled House and Senate, is a scary proposition.

“With [Trump’s] rhetoric—his racist, homophobic, sexist rhetoric—it’s very scary for a lot of people, and I feel like a lot of people are very worried,” Mr. Stripp said while holding a candle.

Priyanka Chandra, who was at the front of the group, expressed shock that Mr. Trump was able to win the presidency over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

“It’s just really surprising how half of America thinks the way that Trump does,” she said. “It’s just something we need to address.”

Throughout the vigil, cars at the busy intersection honked their horns in solidarity, prompting cheers from the gathered crowd. One man in a car began chanting, “Trump, Trump, Trump” as his car was stopped at a light, and the protestors responded with chants of “Equality,” with a few saying, “Good luck with that.”

Annemarie Onate, an Azusa schoolteacher who was carrying her toddler daughter, worries about the progress made during the past few years being undone by Trump’s presidency.

“It’s almost scary. I thought we were getting closer, and it seems like we’ve been completely set back,” she said. “It sets us back in women’s rights, it sets back for the LGBTQ community, for any other minority. It’s frightening, and it means that those people who are against that type of injustice have to speak out that much more.”

But she was encouraged by the turnout and support from passing motorists.

“As cliché as it sounds, tragedy brings people together,” Ms. Onate said. “And we’re still trying to be that community that’s able to support and love one another and show solidarity and compassion for one another, and that’s why I love what’s going on right now.”

The protest was a small addition to a nationwide outcry in the wake of Trump’s election. Throughout Wednesday night, thousands of people took to the streets in Los Angeles, New York City, Seattle and other cities to protest Trump’s ascension.

Toward the end of the vigil, the protestors made a circle, offering words of encouragement and support. Some demonstrators were holding back tears.

Another protest will be held on Friday, November 11 at 2 p.m. at the Claremont Colleges.

Mr. Stripp noted he worries about how his three-year-old brother will grow up under Trump’s America.

“It’s hard to tell him, how to approach the situation,” he said. “I think we have a long and challenging road ahead.”

Matthew Bramlett




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