Students gather in front of Tower after Election Day to protest

Paul Cobler

Update: Students marched from campus to downtown Austin.

Anti-Donald Trump chants rang out across the Main Mall as over 250 students gathered this morning, protesting the president-elect’s rise to the White House.

Students representing groups such as the Queer and Trans Students Alliance, Students for Stein and the Revolutionary Student Front, among others, gathered in the rain on the steps of the Tower starting at 11 a.m.

“It’s not right that all of this racism and sexism and homophobia and transphobia are being allowed and encouraged by our government, and now we have Donald Trump and Mike Pence in office,” QTSA director Josh Rudd said. “We’re fed up with people who are allowing this to happen by voting for them and supporting them and [who] continue to support these horrible politics.”

Initially the group of protestors was about 50 people, but after an hour many bystanders joined the group on the steps and an even larger group was gathered in the plaza watching the protest.

“I don’t necessarily believe with either side, but I do believe in the theory of constructivism,” said bystander Hiram Garcia, an international relations sophomore. “The way that we discuss issues tends to be the way that we approach them. If we talk about them aggressively, our response, naturally, will be aggressive. Although they feel they're being peaceful and not inciting violence, I think the Trump supporters and even the people watching feel threatened.”

Mathematics freshman David Green, who voted for Trump and was sporting a red “Make America Great Again” hat, said he thought the protest was a good first step for students to voice their opinions.

“The issue that I have with this is that it’s overwhelmingly likely this will never transition to talking about issues,” Green said. “I think that they’ll just continue to yell, trying to leverage profanity to change people’s opinions, when they need to be addressing issues and and mobilizing voters.”

University director of media relations J.B. Bird said the University would respect students’ right to protest.

“The students have a right to peacefully protest, and we respect that right, just as we have respected free speech rights at other events on campus,” Bird said.

Noor Wadi, a member of the Palestine Solidarity Committee, said the protest was a way for her to cope with last night’s results.

“Our country voted for a racist, a fascist, somebody who platformed only on racism and nothing else,” Wadi said. “Even if Hillary had won last night, the fact that our country overwhelming supported a demagogue … The harm was done regardless, no matter who won. We’re here to support each other and make sure we can all get through the next four years together.”

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