Voices Of Dissent
Protesters from the Inauguration Day marches, in their own words
Thousands came to protest Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday, further marring a lackluster and poorly attended ceremony. Most of the headlines regarding these protests centered on the arrests of those accused of the most violent rioting and clashes with police.
However, the vast majority of protests were peaceful gatherings of people of every age, race, religion, and background. Here is what a few of them had to say about why they chose to protest Trump’s inauguration:
“We are here because we do not believe the things Trump represents represent the values of this country, nor do they represent our personal values. We reject his call on deporting immigrants, we reject his tax policy in favor of the rich, and we reject the divisiveness and the contempt that he brings in this country between people who should be united together.”
— March French, a city planner from Baltimore, Maryland
“I am a woman, I am a bisexual woman, I feel very unsafe under his presidency and I wanna show solidarity with those who also feel unsafe. And more than anything, I want people who voted for him to know that I’m not gonna back down and just accept that he’s president now. I’m just gonna keep staying involved and keep trying to fight this as best as I can, while also being peaceful, of course.”
— Jessica, a student from South Bend, Indiana.
“Hate can’t really make change…but frustration can. You know, we gotta be frustrated, but you take that frustration and you use it to do something positive. So I’m here just to basically be a part of the masses and make the crowds grow so we can make things move in a positive direction.”
– O (name provided), a Washington, DC native who wants to be part of change.
“It’s obvious, you know, we are citizens. I’m an immigrant myself, now a U.S. citizen. I profited myself from the generosity of this country, but he wants to obviously stop it.”
— Rainer Ganahl, an Austrian-American artist living in New York.
“It was a huge shock. We were ready to celebrate the first woman president. And it’s just a sense of frustration, I gotta do something, so I decided to join the people on the street”
— Norma Andrews, left, a Brazilian-American scientist (pictured with sister Christina).
“I am a black, queer, mentally ill woman, and I don’t often have the physical and emotional energy to get out and support my people. But today I did, and so I wanted to come out and do the right thing, and show that I am not gonna be afraid to fight for what I believe is right.”
— Kealea Foy, left, DC native. (pictured with friend Brooke)
“Donald Trump is incompetent, and above all else he is illegitimate. He shouldn’t be in office, he didn’t win the popular vote. Just a myriad of reasons: he makes fun of disabled people, says some things that are incredibly racist. He’s the old guard, he’s the way things used to be, and things don’t need to be like that anymore.”
— Andrew, a student and china replacement business employee from North Carolina.
“We don’t think that we are going to take him down today or something. What this is about is about expressing dissent loudly for everyone to hear, so that we do not normalize this…You can’t let it go, you can’t let it slide. So we’re just here to say this is not ok, my approval stamp is not on this. And everyone should know about it, because that changes the way people perceive the conversation about what’s happening. Instead of ‘This is Trump’s America’; no, this is America occupied by Trump.”
— Lena, also from North Carolina, where she has a full-time job, contrary to the misconceptions she feels many have of anti-Trump protesters.
“If you could tell Donald Trump one thing, what would it be?”:
“Do what’s right for the entire American people”
“I just want to know why my rights don’t matter, just because he doesn’t agree with them…I’m still a human, why don’t I matter?”
“LGBT rights are human rights.”
“He has to realize that the rest of the world matters.”
“He has a lot that he’s up against; it’s all of us!”
President Trump has not responded to these protesters, or to the millions of others the world over who came out against him over the weekend.