“His inauguration doesn’t mean anything to me because he’s not my president,” business administration freshman Amsie Onyeador said on Friday.
Onyeador was one of many students expressing their rejection of the current political state of the nation.
Organizers of the event handed out flyers with a list of chants in addition to a map detailing their walkout of campus.
Cal Poly students participated in a protest on Dexter Lawn Friday before walking off campus.
The plan was for marchers to travel down Grand Avenue, turn onto Monterey Street and march to downtown San Luis Obispo.
During their exodus to downtown, protestors marched toward the Julian A. McPhee University Union (UU) chanting, “If we don’t get it shut it down!”, “Donald Trump! Go away! Racist, Sexist, Anti-Gay,” and “Hands too Small! Can’t build a Wall!’
Students held signs that said “Ban Bigotry. Deport Hate Speech. Build Bridges,” “We don’t want an American Idiot,” and “Not my President.”
About 200 students were expected to attend the walkout, according to one of the walkout organizers and comparative ethnic studies sophomore Tyler Suarez-Brown.
“I want them to feel like they’re not alone and I want them to not be afraid of any opposition that we might face,” Brown said.
Onyeador said that as a bisexual woman of color, she wants her voice to be heard.
“There are a lot of people who are frightened and scared for their safety and the safety of their family members,” she said. “This is more like a coming together to speak out against Trump’s hate.”
One of the organizers of the event, political science junior Matt Klepfer told the rally that if anyone would like to speak they would need to be vetted by him and another organizer.
“The two of us were talking to people before they went up to speak,” Klepfer said. “This is a space where we can give people who are marginalized in society a place to speak and not Trump supporters who have already been given the chance to speak.”
While students were protesting Trump on the stairs of Walter F. Dexter (building 34), Trump supporters observed the protest from afar.
“I just have the opinion that [the protesters] are overreacting, it’s about as sane as when eight years ago people were complaining about how Obama’s gonna take all your guns and he’ll screw up religious liberties,” city and regional planning junior Hunter Kelly said.
University Police Department (UPD) was parked near the Frank E. Pilling Computer Science Building were not involved in the walkout. In fact, they maintained their distance from the protest, Lieutenant Bryan Cox said.
“We are just keeping the peace,” Cox said. “And making sure no one’s constitutional rights
After the protests and marches of this weekend, the political aims of Cal Poly students are not going to stop, Brown said.
“We think San Luis Obispo is a big reflection of what’s happening on a national level. “I think the most important thing is start locally, keep building and we need to prepare,” Brown said. “We need to start working now. This is a long fight.”
While Brown is from the San Francisco Bay Area, she wants to create
change no matter where she is. Brown sees newly inaugurated San Luis Obispo mayor Heidi Harmon as an ally to advance their plans for activism.
“[It is] great she got that position, sort of our continued motivation where people might have lost faith,” Brown said. “We have Heidi as a great ally overseeing all of
San Luis Obispo.”
As the protest went on, Trump protestors walked toward the UU, hoping to pick up more students to participate. They planned on walking to the San Luis Obispo Superior Court. However, when they did not have enough protestors, they met downtown for the Day of Mourning Protest and March.
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