Students gathered on Florida State University’s Landis Green on Friday to rally against the Presidential Inauguration before marching to the Capitol.
Tallahassee’s Students for a Democratic Society, an organization on college campuses across the country whose mission is fighting against oppression, social injustice and inequality. FSU’s chapter of SDS organizes and participates in protests dealing with police brutality, Black Lives Matter movement, and against Donald Trump in the presidential election.
On the day of the Presidential Inauguration, about 100 students walked out of class at noon in protest against Donald Trump’s presidency. Tallahassee SDS and many other students met on Landis Green where they shared their personal stories, reasons why they are against President Trump and how his presidency can have a negative impact on the lives of many people.
Many protesters addressed the crowd about various race, immigration, LGBTQ and women’s rights issues that the United States may face under the President Donald Trump’s administration.
Referencing the United States’ Preamble, FSU student Morgan Flake climbed onto the platform and said into the microphone, “We the people in order to form a more perfect union. What the hell kind of union reaches perfection when half of it’s citizens are left out?”
Many students brought signs that oppose President Trump’s controversial views on immigration. These signs stated, “Stand with undocumented people,” and “Immigrants are human.”
According to Donald Trump’s website, his 10 Point Plan states, “Begin working on an impenetrable physical wall on the southern border, on day one. Mexico will pay for the wall.” His vision includes having stricter immigration laws and move illegal immigrants out in order to open more jobs for Americans.
In his August 2016 speech in Arizona, Trump said, “While there are many illegal immigrants in our country who are good people, this doesn’t change the fact that most illegal immigrants are lower-skilled workers with less education who compete directly against vulnerable American workers.”
“I feel like Trump wants to diminish cultures and reduce the ability to speak out about our culture,” said Monica Hassan, International Affairs major at FSU. “We’re losing [Obama] to somebody who doesn’t respect us as human beings, somebody who doesn’t respect immigrants, women, and people of the LGBT+ community,” Hassan said.
There were a few supporters of President Trump that walked through the protest or watched the protest in Trump paraphernalia. A student shouted at the protesters, “Be smart, go to class!”
Protesters then chanted, “We oppose Trump and Pence! They only serve the 1 percent!”
There were protests across college campuses as well as in cities on Inaugaration Day to protest against President Trump. According to ABC News, 217 people were arrested in Washington, D.C. after protests turned violent.
Trump’s presidency even sparked international protests. More than 200 protestors burned American flags outside the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines, according to USA Today.
“Even though he won the Electoral College, the 65 million people did not agree with that,” said protester Danielle Otey.
“I think the protest will show the incoming Trump organization that the People are not going to be walked over,” Otey said.
Holding back tears, Otey also described her fear of Trump’s immigration policies that he plans on imposing. Her main fear is that someone close to her may be forced to leave the United States due to the strict laws that are soon to come.
Students marched from Landis Green to the Capitol where the protests continued with poetry and local music talent. While at the outside the Capitol steps, the members of Students for a Democratic Society continued to express their anger and/or fear for the newly elected U.S. President with personal statements over a bullhorn in light isolated showers.
Stephen Oleszeck, FSU Multi-Cultural Film professor, said, “I want my students to accept change whether they agree with it or not. He went on to give advice to American protesters that may be discontent with Trump’s presidency, “learn to seek out the good in the other side, no matter how hard it is to find.”