Demonstrators, in a citywide protest against the election of Donald Trump, passed through Main Campus at around 7 p.m. as it traveled north from City Hall.
Protesters seated in the street outside City Hall by 15th and Market streets. pic.twitter.com/npOJWaPRi9
— Erin Moran (@ernmrntweets) November 10, 2016
The crowd of more than 2,000 halted the march briefly at the intersection of Cecil B. Moore Avenue and Broad Street. They chanted things like, “F-ck Donald Trump,” “Donald Trump is KKK, racist, sexist, anti-gay,” “Not my president,” “My body my choice,” and “Black Lives Matter.”
Police closed the intersection while the crowd stopped before continuing north on Broad Street. Philadelphia and Temple police followed the crowd on bikes and in vehicles.
A Facebook event, hosted by Philadelphia Socialist Alternative, called “Protest Trump In Philly!” invited people to “demonstrate mass opposition” to Donald Trump, who was officially named President-elect of the United States Wednesday morning.
According to the event page, 2,300 Facebook users said they would attend the demonstration.
Elizabeth Royster, an undeclared freshman in the College of Science and Technology said she was most concerned about how many people Trump “disrespects.”
She said in order to make the most of the election’s outcome and get their voices heard, people have to “Keep doing what we’re doing right now until it works.”
“I’m from the Bronx myself so the fact that New York is [protesting but I] can’t be at New York, so I’m going to represent Philly,” said Vandanna Haripersaud, a freshman neuroscience major. “It’s just love and support for me, like I’m personally straight but for me to have gay, bisexual, transgender, lesbian, queer friends, for them to have to email me like, ‘Vandanna, I can never love, I can never get married, what am I gonna do?’ That grabbed my heart and I need to march for that.”
She said this was the seventh rally she had attended. Haripersaud had rallied for the end of the two-party system and attended other marches in New York City.
“This is definitely different because the population is different,” she said. “You see a lot of Caucasian, a lot of non-minority people and it’s always good being a minority person to be here and feel that and see everybody coming together.”
"Not my president" chants at Temple University. pic.twitter.com/CijC6kvU87
— Erin Moran (@ernmrntweets) November 10, 2016
“I was just so blinded to the fact that so many people were able to back someone who is so hateful,” said Kyle Telman, who graduated from the University of the Arts and works as a graphic designer. He lives at 5th and Tasker streets.
“I think institutional mentalities have ruined a lot of people,” he said. “They are sheepish, they got filtered into voting for someone who is not eligible and just a horrible human being. … All you can do is voice your opinion. The votes didn’t come through for us, but we’re going to speak our voice either way.”
Racquel Phillips, a freshman biology major, said that she had friends who voted for Trump, and that their views put her over the edge.
“Just their views of the whole situation, everything is one-sided and that’s why I’m out here protesting tonight. This morning I was arguing with people over a computer screen and tonight I’m out here with other people protesting against them,” Phillips said. “I’m extremely heated about this year’s election because I don’t understand why the majority of our country wants a racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, everything-a-phobic president that only cares about rich, white people.”
Courtney Diec, a freshman environmental science major, said she was protesting because the environment is the most important issue to her, adding that her parents were immigrants from Vietnam.
“I come from an immigrant family and I have a lot of reasons [to protest] between that and [Trump’s] energy act,” she said. “I don’t agree with that at all … He’s only worried about the jobs, which is awesome to an extent but there’s no point in having jobs when we’re not going to have anywhere to live anymore.”
“[This is] empowering,” Diec added. “It’s cool to be walking down Broad Street and looking straight at City Hall. It’s cool to see the whole entire community root us on, especially some of the police officers who were smiling, sticking their fists in the air and just kind of being there for us.”
As the protesters headed south on Colorado and 16th, residents and students stood on their stoops cheering in support. Cars in the middle of the street honked their horns and one woman climbed through the moonroof of her car to raise her fist and cheer in support. Families — some already dressed for bed — stood out on their porches or hung out their windows and recorded videos, waved, high-fived and cheered protesters along.
One woman, 20-year-old Tatiyana Wilson, stood on her porch cheering with her family. The most important thing to do at this point, she said, is grow stronger as a community.
“This is beautiful, this is what we need,” the Community College of Philadelphia student said as her family members cheered in support. “No justice, no peace. We gotta retaliate and this is what it’s gonna be. We gotta come together as a community, [Trump] can’t just come in and do whatever he wants.”
Other protesters came into the city just to join the protest.
“What inspired me to come here is the fact that somehow through whatever kind of mental gymnastics he’s worked on the people, we’ve elected a racist, sexist and homophobic bigot to be the leader of the free world and I can’t take that sitting down,” said Brandon Howard, an administrative assistant at a financial firm in Glassboro, New Jersey who resides in Westville, New Jersey. “I think it would be more of an insult to human rights if we allowed him to continue. It’s one thing to get up to the podium but it’s another thing to sit silently and allow it to happen. Every single major city in the United States is having a protest tonight and I’m happy to be a part of it.”
Similar demonstrations opposing Trump’s election occurred in New York City, Chicago and San Francisco.
“It lets the people in charge know that we’re not happy with this decision and this is not our decision,” said Chelsea Williams, a junior environmental science major. “This wasn’t our choice, he wasn’t our choice.”
“And we’re gonna protest it until we can’t protest it anymore.”
Kelly Brennan, Evan Easterling and Erin Moran can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @TheTempleNews.