Sac State students participate in anti-Trump protest, shutting down city streets

Hundreds+of+people+protest+the+election+of+Donald+Trump+to+the+presidency+of+the+United+States+in+front+of+the+California+State+Capitol+in+Sacramento+on+Wednesday%2C+Nov.+9.+%28Photo+by+Rin+Carbin%29
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Sac State students participate in anti-Trump protest, shutting down city streets

Hundreds of people protest the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States in front of the California State Capitol in Sacramento on Wednesday, Nov. 9. (Photo by Rin Carbin)

Hundreds of people protest the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States in front of the California State Capitol in Sacramento on Wednesday, Nov. 9. (Photo by Rin Carbin)

Hundreds of people protest the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States in front of the California State Capitol in Sacramento on Wednesday, Nov. 9. (Photo by Rin Carbin)

Hundreds of people protest the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States in front of the California State Capitol in Sacramento on Wednesday, Nov. 9. (Photo by Rin Carbin)

John Ferrannini

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Hundreds of young people — including Sacramento State students and alumni — filled the streets of Sacramento on Wednesday to protest election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency.

Protesters chanted slogans such as “F— Donald Trump” and “No Trump, No KKK, no fascist USA” as they marched from the Robert Matsui Federal Courthouse to the California State Capitol and back, eliciting positive responses from bystanders and even people eating in downtown restaurants.

The protest was organized by Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER), according to Sac State student Jamier Sale.

“I’m out here because last night Donald Trump — a racist, misogynist, Islamophobic, anti-immigrant bigot — was elected president,” Sale said. “I think he represents everything wrong with this country. It’s shameful.”

Estevan Hernandez, a Peace and Freedom Party activist and Sac State alum, seconded Sale’s point.

“We got to get people out in the street protesting,” Hernandez said. “We need a big movement of many people; that’s the only way we’re going to stop the rising racism.”

Sammy Meelo, an environmental science major, said that there were many reasons she decided to attend the protest.

“There is not one reason — more like one hundred. He’s against women’s rights to our bodies, he wants to defund Planned Parenthood, he wants to deport my people,” she said. “I’m an environmental science major and he doesn’t even believe in global warming. All the stuff he said: he’s insulted the handicapped, immigrants, women. Is this the person we want to represent our country?”

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Demonstrators carried banners as diverse as the individual reasons they felt compelled to protest — from a Che Guevara flag to Clinton-Kaine campaign sign.

After the demonstrators made their way from the courthouse to the State Capitol, a man with a sign reading “California is a nation not a state” (an allusion to the discussion of California seceding from the United States as part of a Calexit) received thunderous applause.

“It was a spontaneous feeling,” Hernandez said about why the demonstrators marched from the courthouse to the Capitol. “People were energized and wanted to take their message to the community.”

Streets impacted included I Street, 10th Street and the Capitol Mall between the Tower Bridge and the Capitol Building.

Police variously in cars and on foot, bike and horseback stood beside the crowd of demonstrators as they blocked traffic and in front of both the Courthouse and the State Capitol.

Sale set up an open mic for demonstrators to share their thoughts on the state of the nation.

“What do we do? This was a problem way before election night,” McKenzie Wilson said at the open mic. “When I hear you guys ask what to do — come find me and give me your info. What we have to do is organize and preach all day.”

Wilson received applause as she told the crowd that they had to devote more time to political activism.

“Don’t talk about it; be about it,” she said. “You are beautiful people with an amazing voice I heard for blocks today, so don’t stop using it.”

The protesters alternated between speeches and chants, with dancing breaking out during a chant of “when people are occupied, resistance is justified.”

Sarah Velez tried to strike a note of hope among the many aggrieved people who gathered for the event.

“Nobody wants to be here tonight,” Velez said. “I wanted to stay home and cry. There are plenty of people who are going to suffer because of this. … Love will always trump fear.”

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