News

Students walk out of classes after inauguration

Students protested on Main Campus before marching to Center City.

About 100 students gathered at the Bell Tower Friday afternoon for a student walkout and protest in response to President Donald Trump’s inauguration. They huddled under the tower to keep themselves and their posters dry from the rain.

The posters were adorned with slogans like, “Trump Loves Hate,” and “Respect Existence or Expect Resistance.” They also chanted, “The people, united, will never be divided.”

Philadelphia Socialist Alternative organized the protest at Temple as well as the larger protest in Center City, which students later joined. They marched from Temple’s Main Campus down Broad Street to Thomas Paine Plaza  — next to City Hall. They then marched to Independence Mall, escorted by police.

Philip Gregory, a junior English major, is a part of Philadelphia Socialist Alternative and Temple’s chapter of 15 Now, which fights for a $15 minimum wage for all Temple employees. He began organizing both protests immediately after the election, he said.

“We assumed, ‘Alright, it’s time to start working, it’s time to start building, it’s time to start networking, it’s time to start putting this together,’ because we knew this day was going to come,” he said.

Gregory said one of the objectives of the march was to get people involved in different organizations.

“There’s not just marches, there’s not just speakers,” he said. “There’s other things you can do. … There’s other things we need to be tackling other than just coming together and marching.”

Lucy Crawford, a sophomore media studies and production major, said she protested to empower other people. She learned about the protest through social media and wanted to channel her anger at the election into “something productive.”

While members of Temple 15 Now, Philadelphia Socialist Alternative and Stadium Stompers spoke to the crowd through megaphones, another group of about 50 students walked around the corner of Paley Library.

They held cardboard signs that read, “Dump Trump” and chanted “Drexel Stands with Temple.”

Anne Rubenstein, a professor at York University in Toronto, Canada, was protesting with a Temple professor. She said they planned to participate in the Women’s March in Washington D.C. the next day.

Rubenstein said she was glad students were protesting because it prevented the feeling of isolation, which she said she felt when former President Ronald Reagan was elected.

“It gives you strength, and that kind of strength translates into political power,” she said. “For people who were feeling alone, this is a really good way to start. Just show up for stuff and look around.”

“I think artists, when they have a similar cause, can create really great collaborative work and channel their emotions into one defined thing,” Crawford said. “A web of resistance.”

Julie Christie can be reached at julie.christie@temple.edu or on Twitter @ChristieJules.

Editor’s note: Lucy Crawford wrote one article for The Temple News in November 2016. She played no role in the reporting or editing of this article.

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