Florida State University’s Students for a Democratic Society gathered Tuesday, February 16 for its Free Speech Zone to protest Donald Trump and all racist politicians as part of the Dump Trump Rally.
The rally was intended to shed light on FSU’s Board of Trustee member Joe Gruters’ affiliation with Donald Trump and called for his resignation.
Regina Joseph, third-year FSU political science and sociology student from Miramar and spokeswoman for SDS, said she hoped to bring awareness to the racist leadership at FSU.
“It’s really important that we oppose racism no matter where it comes from. That happens even here at FSU. This campus used to be a slave plantation. Frances Eppes owned 91 slaves; he used that money to found TPD and later donated this land to Florida State University so there’s racism all around us,” Joseph said.
She says racism on campus still continues and FSU members have an obligation to not be associated with Donald Trump’s racism.
Gruters said he will continue to support Trump because he believes he wants the best for all Americans.
"It's really important that we remember the president's number one job is to keep Americans safe, and that's what I believe Donald Trump will do when he's president. I do think he's going to win,” according to WTXL.
Student supporters of Donald Trump showed up and stood in opposition to anti-Trump protestors, holding up a sign with his campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again!”
Zachary Schultz, welding student at Tallahassee Community College from Sarasota, urged students to take Trump’s proposed policies seriously.
“He is not a joke. He is not just a funny meme on the internet that we can laugh at. He actually is a person with thousands of supporters. His supporters are known to use violence and intimidation against anyone who opposes him. We’ve seen Neo-Nazi and white supremacists groups pointing to Donald Trump as one of their main inspirations,” Schultz said.
Michael Williams, fourth-year Florida A&M University english student from Vero Beach, attended the event to show solidarity with SDS efforts.
“I feel like Donald Trump would fail the nation. America has already gone through enough things when it comes to racism and racist policies, and he will bring back something that should’ve been killed off. I’m definitely against Donald Trump especially now that I’ve seen some eye-opening truths, not even from Donald Trump himself but his supporters,” Williams said.
SDS previously gathered Feb. 10 to kick off their protests with a “Dump Trump” Pinata Bash and intends to start a Florida A&M University chapter.