On Campus

More than 100 students march in anti-Trump protest on campus

Colin Davy | Staff Photographer

More than 100 Syracuse University community members gathered Thursday night to march across the SU campus and protest Donald Trump winning the presidential election.

Students took to the streets to protest President-elect Donald Trump in an event called “P*ssy Grabs Back.”

Syracuse University and State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry students gathered on the steps of Carnegie Library with some holding homemade signs while others wearing shirts emblazoned with “Nasty Woman,” the phrase Donald Trump used to describe Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at their last presidential debate.

Protesters came with personal reasons for attending the event. Chants ranged from related to women’s rights to support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Martin Martucci, a transgender student at SU, said half of the country doesn’t want him to exist.

“So I’m going to exist so hard,” he said.

He was going to wait to come out as transgender, but he said did not want to hide any longer. Martucci is from Missouri, a state that overwhelmingly voted for Trump.

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Sam Ogozalek | Staff Writer

Tiara Lowery, a sophomore writing major, said she came to the protest to fight the injustices she faces as a woman of color and to also speak up for her boyfriend, who is of Mexican descent and cannot voice his opinions because he currently serves in the military.

Susan Hynds, a professor emerita at SU, also joined the protest, holding a sign that read, “Women hold up half the sky!” In the past, Hynds has marched in protests about the Vietnam War and for women’s and LGBT rights, she said.

“You have hearts of blue, of beautiful blue,” Hynds yelled to the crowd, hugging students and thanking them for showing up to protest Trump.

Some SUNY-ESF students at the protest lamented Trump’s disbelief in climate change and said they were afraid of what he would do to ongoing climate change initiatives.

The event, originally organized on Facebook, had at least 150 people participating in it by the end of the night.

Protest organizers, sophomores Griffin Brooks and Julia Rome, arrived to the event with a large banner covered with controversial quotes from Trump, sponges and trays of paint. Cassie Schmitt, a junior political science major, invited students to throw paint-filled sponges at the banner until it was destroyed.

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Colin Davy | Staff Photographer

“I can still read the hate!” Schmitt said to encourage protesters to throw more sponges, “I can still read his name!”

Protesters shouted, “This is for my queer brothers and sisters,” “Women are not objects,” and “This is for Planned Parenthood,” as they threw the sponges. Nihal Honwad threw the final sponge and sprinted through the paint-covered banner, eliciting huge cheers from the crowd.

The students then began their march toward Marshall Street, first making their way down to the University Place promenade. Protesters marched directly onto Waverly Avenue, preventing some vehicles from moving. Cars honked at them, but they kept marching and chanting.

Other cars honked in solidarity with the protesters, and one driver stopped his car to high-five protesters walking past.

As they made their way onto Marshall Street, protesters shouted, “What do we want? Equality! When do we want it? Now!” Patrons from Marshall Street establishments walked out and stood on sidewalks, many filming the protest with their phones.

Protesters made their way back to Waverly and then headed toward Walnut Avenue. After making their way down Walnut toward Harrison Street, residents of Castle Court stood in their doorways booed and yelled, “Trump!” and “USA! USA!” to counter the protestors’ chants.

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Colin Davy | Staff Photographer

Brooks and Rome found the chants of, “USA! USA!” to be an ironic way to combat their protests.

“That’s not arguing against us. We’re for the USA too. We’re patriotic too. That’s why we’re doing this,” Rome said.

The protesters returned to the SU campus, ending their march at the statue of Abraham Lincoln in front of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Students involved in the protest made short speeches on the group’s megaphone.

Canadian international student Andrew Ghosh recalled a time he was called a terrorist by other students in his residence hall because of the color of his skin. Ghosh expressed his disappointment in the outcome of the election.

Another student took the megaphone and quoted “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony’s speech, saying, “Love is love is love is love is love and cannot be pushed away or swept aside.” The tone of fighting without violence defined the night, with junior Will Smart saying, “You have to fight with love!”

Protesters dispersed at around 10:30 p.m., ending an overall peaceful protest.

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