'Post-election solidarity,' protests in Raleigh Friday
Posted November 11, 2016 6:54 p.m. EST
Updated November 11, 2016 11:53 p.m. EST
Raleigh, N.C. — Hundreds of students gathered Friday evening at Wolf Plaza at North Carolina State University in a demonstration of post-election solidarity. Around 9 p.m. that night, hundreds of protesters gathered in Nash Square in downtown Raleigh in response to the president-elect.
At NC State, speakers expressed dissatisfaction and concern over the recent election of Donald Trump as president. Some identified themselves as undocumented or LGBTQ and said they feel threatened by the policies the president-elect might enact. Others expressed concern the Trump presidency might have on the environment.
“To those who voted for Trump, I ask that you acknowledge the impact his rhetoric is having,” protester Nida Allam said.
Austin Bryan helped to bring people together on N.C. State. He described the presidential election results as emotionally difficult.
“They woke up the day after the election to a future and America that means homophobia, sexism, xenophobia, Islamaphobia,” Bryan said. “It is going to be the creation of a huge resistance movement in this country. We are going to see people having conversation that needed to happen a long time ago.”
Several Trump supporters were present as well, saying they want to humanize their side of the debate. Eric Low voted for Trump and attended the protest. He said he identifies as a gay man.
“I am here to humanize the Trump supporter,” said Low, a freshman at North Carolina State University. “The fact they never tried to look at the legitimate reasons people voted for him is the reason why Clinton lost the election.”
Low said he is voted for Trump because many people in the United States are out of work, and Trump promised to fix that.
“He was never the most elegant speaker. I think he said some things he probably shouldn’t have said,” Low said.
But many people at the protests cited Trump’s words as the reason behind gatherings Friday and more rallies in the future. Protesters said a major reason for the demonstrations have been to mobilize people for upcoming elections 2 years and 4 years from now.
“For what may be the first time in 20 years of living in the U.S., my faith and devotion have been faltered,” protester Stefy Castro said.