Election 2016

Syracuse groups to protest Donald Trump’s presidency ahead of Inauguration Day

Moriah Ratner | Staff Photographer

Local central New York groups are heading to Washington D.C. to protest the election of President-elect Donald Trump this weekend. The above photo shows protests during a Trump rally in Syracuse last April.

As President-elect Donald Trump is formally sworn into office on Friday, several groups from central New York and the Syracuse area will be heading to Washington, D.C., in support of those who feel threatened by Trump’s presidency.

The Women’s March on Washington-CNY Section, Women Together Inspiring Entrepreneurial Success and College Democrats of Syracuse University are among the organizations that are planning on either protesting Trump or advocating for certain rights over the inauguration weekend.

Tracy Higginbotham, the founder and president of Women TIES, said the protests are not to take from or add attention to Trump, but instead highlight the voices of women, adding that she believes women’s voices need to be heard now more than ever.

“The point of this is to walk in solidarity with thousands of other women to make sure the new administration remembers that women make up 52 percent of the population and our rights are important,” Higginbotham said. “We cannot have our government go back on rights that have been given already and that includes women’s rights, LGBT rights, disability rights and so much more.”

Higginbotham has long been involved in advocating for women’s rights and empowerment. Her company works in helping women build their professional careers and bridging both the pay and gender gap across all industries.

Women TIES has specifically reached out to women in central New York to join the Women’s March on Washington, which will take place Saturday. So far more than 100 people have registered to attend the Women’s March on Washington through Women TIES, Higginbotham said. The group will depart from Syracuse Friday morning.

Another group, the Women’s March on Washington-CNY Section, has also sought out participants to join the Women’s March on Washington. Silvia Macor, one of the event organizers for the Women’s March on Washington-CNY Section, said the organization expects at least three full buses to head to the nation’s capital on Friday.

The buses will depart from the ShoppingTown Mall in DeWitt, New York. Both the Women’s March on Washington-CNY Section and Women TIES have sold-out buses. Macor said she believes that the march signifies more than anti-Trump rhetoric.

“It will send the message that we are watching, and we will be vigilant and active,” Mactor said. “I am not surprised by the interest in the march. Many of us who lived through the women’s movement of the ’70s and ’80s knew that our hard-fought progress was in jeopardy. Not just women’s rights but civil liberties, too.”

While the tickets for these groups have sold out, SU students will have the opportunity to participate in joining those in either opposition of the inauguration or in solidarity with certain social groups. College Democrats at SU is offering 25 tickets for a free bus that will take students to the nation’s capital to participate in the Women’s March on Washington.

The tickets will be distributed in the Office of Student Activities at Schine Student Center starting at 9 a.m. on a first come, first serve basis. The bus leaves Saturday morning at 2 a.m. and is scheduled to return to Syracuse at 5 p.m., according to a university email.

Lyla Rose-Barwick, a junior television, radio and film major, helped coordinate the event. The anger many feel about the results of the election, she said, should not silence those who oppose the Trump presidency.

“Many people do not quite believe in the point of protesting. I have had many friends exclaim, ‘Why are you protesting? That’s not going to change the results of the election,’” Rose-Barwick, who is also an executive board member of the College Democrats, said. “Protesting is not about trying to stop what has already happened. We are realists. We can’t change the results of this election.”

Rose-Barwick also said students of all backgrounds are welcome to join the College Democrats at the Women’s March on Washington.

“This is just the beginning — the hard work comes in the next four years,” Macor said.


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