‘America was always great’: WSU students and local activists protest President-elect Donald Trump

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‘America was always great’: WSU students and local activists protest President-elect Donald Trump

Students protest President-elect Donald Trump outside the RSC.

Students protest President-elect Donald Trump outside the RSC.

Evan Pflugradt

Students protest President-elect Donald Trump outside the RSC.

Evan Pflugradt

Evan Pflugradt

Students protest President-elect Donald Trump outside the RSC.

Over 100 students, alumni and activists gathered outside of the Rhatigan Student Center to peacefully protest President-elect Donald Trump, specifically because of beliefs that he uses rhetoric that is racist, misogynistic and xenophobic. The No! Protest, as it was called, was led by Jesse Allen, a Wichita State graduate teaching assistant.

“My initial fear as a dedicated feminist was that no one would show up,” Allen said. “You guys proved me wrong, thank you.

“We must never stop fighting for what we believe in. We need to say no to misogyny, no to sexism. As we all know, women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights. I’m so proud of you for coming forward and standing up for what you believe in.”

Signs by protesters had phrases such as “queer lives matter,” “build bridges not walls,” “I stand with love,” “end white silence,” and “love conquers.”

The protest initially began at the Plaza of Heroines outside of Ablah Library but moved to outside of the RSC due to the number of attendees.

WSU alumna Erin Warry gave an impassioned speech to the crowd of protesters, highlighting her own personal struggles as a woman and a disabled person.

“On November 8, 2016, our nation changed forever,” Warry said. “Our greatest fear had come true. Our electoral college had brought a misogynist, racist and xenophobic man into power.

“I am two of the things that scare Trump: I am an educated woman and I am disabled. I have autism. I was diagnosed at age 5. Since then I’ve had to fight for everything, from education to social acceptance that no human being should ever have to endure.

“The violence against us comes from a place of fear. The battle for equality is being won and that scares a lot of people. We will stand up and cry we are equal!”

Warry’s words were met with shouted agreement from the crowd.

“We will love one another because at the end that is all we have.”

WSU alumna Erin Warry holds a sign after speaking to the crowd about President-elect Donald Trump’s misogyny in front of the RSC on Monday afternoon. “We don’t have to let this be our downfall,” Warry said.

Brian Hayes
WSU alumna Erin Warry holds a sign after speaking to the crowd about President-elect Donald Trump’s misogyny in front of the RSC on Monday afternoon. “We don’t have to let this be our downfall,” Warry said.

Marilyn Morton, WSU student government legislative director, said the protest was “a show of solidarity.”

“I’m transgender,” Morton said. “In Kansas there aren’t any protections against discrimination. I’m really looking towards the people that he appoints. I’m not really afraid of Trump. I’m afraid of the people he chooses that might know what they’re doing.”

Concerned local activist Sarah Jackson said the fact that Trump is the president-elect is “deplorable.”

“He’s basically spreading a message that trans people don’t matter, gay people don’t matter, women don’t matter, black people don’t matter, nobody matters, besides white supremacists,” Jackson said. “That sends a message that we are stuck in 1942. It’s 2016. We’re beyond this.”