Oregon anti-Trump Protests: A Participant’s View

by Oregon college student

When Trump won the election, I was down in the basement in the residence hall I live in watching on the community TV. The room was mostly anti-Trump, with a pro-Trump minority, and everyone was shocked to see the results. A little while after the results came clear, we heard there were big groups of people yelling and protesting outside, so we went outside, partially out of curiosity. What we found was something between a riot and a party. Lots of people upset, marching around the campus, with a guy with a large speaker playing the song “Fuck Donald Trump” loudly, which people chanted along with. Eventually, when the group was large enough, we left campus and started marching, at which point the crowd grew, and it started to feel a bit less like a large party organized by college freshman, and more like a real protest.

The protest definitely had a pro-Democrat bent to it. In between yells of “fuck Donald Trump” and “This is what democracy looks like” were yells of “love Trumps hate” and “they go low, we go high,” both slogans from Hillary Clinton’s campaign. When things had died down a bit, a few speeches were given. One man started his speech by saying we were the beginning of a revolution, but followed that up by saying that “we’ll make the country bleed blue” because, to him, that’s what a revolution would look like. Seeing a spontaneous protest like this one, despite its somewhat standard politics, was encouraging.

It certainly had a different feel to the pre-planned and organized protest I attended two days later. This protest was an organized march, planned through a Facebook event, which had notified the police of their planned route. While this protest felt less like some kind of party than the spontaneous election night protest, it had even more of a liberal bent. There was something of a struggle among the crowd, between various chants and factions. People would start saying something like “fuck Donald Trump,” and then be drowned out by the less obscene replacement, “STD,” or by some Clinton campaign slogan. Among the crowd were some representatives from the ant-fascist organization anti-fa holding an anarchist flag, some representatives of the student union, and folk recruiting volunteers for the Eugene branch of the Democratic Party.

While I am somewhat cynical of the potential longevity of these movements, I think it’s good to see them happening. As Trump appoints more of his cabinet, it becomes increasingly clear what a threat he is. I just hope that his opposition among the people doesn’t focus only on putting a member of their favorite party in the White House four years from now.

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