Protestors took to the streets in Tempe and around the country today, just one day after Donald Trump's election as the 45th president of the U.S.
About 200 ASU students rallied Wednesday night at Old Main and marched through downtown Tempe. The protestors marched in rows of four, chanting “not our president” and “stronger together,” as police escorts cleared intersections and stopped traffic.
Randy Perez, an ASU political science and public policy junior, took charge of the protest upon arrival, wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt and shouting directions as the march went on.
Perez said the goal of the rally was to send a message that Trump does not represent him or his community.
“We want to bring attention to the fact that Donald Trump does not represent the people of this community,” Perez said. “He has managed to alienate every growing demographic in this country with his divisive rhetoric and his white supremacy.”
Perez said he will be active in fighting the policies of Trump's administration throughout his presidency.
“Over the next four years, we have to fight,” he said. “The way that I see it is everything Obama has done is on the table.”
Although the protesters strongly disagreed with a Trump presidency, Perez said they didn’t question the legitimacy of the election — something Trump himself had suggested leading up to the election.
“He won fairly and I have no problem with the election results,” he said. “There is no rigged system; it’s a backlash from change.”
Perez said that moving forward, the only way to bridge the divide is to sit down and talk with people from the other side.
A Trump supporter and ASU computer science junior David Lattimer, said the protesters were within their rights to protest, but he questioned the purpose of the protest.
“If you are protesting the idea of Trump or what you called misogyny, you are within your rights,” Lattimer said. “But if you are protesting Democracy, you are pathetic.”
Lattimer said the protests were a result of being blindsided by a surprising presidential victory.
“A lot of these protests are based off of shock more than anything,” he said.
Other protesters, such as Miguel Meza were voicing their opposition to the campaign finance system. Meza said the money in politics caused Trump to win the presidency.
“We have better politicians when there isn’t money in politics,” Meza said. “Donald Trump is the end result of the Citizens United decision and campaign finance running amuck for years.”
Meza said support for organizations such as wolf-pac.com are the only way to make a real change.
One of the main protest leaders who led the procession in chants was Gabriel Palmer, an ASU business senior. He said the protest was against the electoral college system.
“It’s a protest against the system that allowed somebody to take power that the people didn’t want,” Palmer said. “It speaks volumes to the fact that this was organized the day after an election.”
The University declined to comment on the protest and the Trump campaign could not be reached for comment.
Another group, Sun Devils Are Better Together, brought a different message to the protest by calling for unity and respect.
Rachel Sondgeroth, an ASU religious and global studies sophomore, said the group supported unity in the face of divisiveness. Sondgeroth said she supported unifying efforts, despite her opposition to the president-elect.
“As a Latina, I am afraid of the outcome of a Trump presidency,” she said. "But at the end of the day, I respect my friends who voted for Trump ... Peace and tolerance are more important than who is president."
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