Cowritten by Analy Bravo & Francisco Carbajal
The tension and disappointment spread all across the state as Californians filled the streets with signs and banners, including Sonoma State University’s campus. The protest started Wednesday at the Seawolf Plaza at 8 p.m., and continued as students, faculty and parents walked around Sonoma State’s campus with chants of “not my president”, “pu**y grabs back” and “people united will never be divided.”
“It is all about coming together as a people,” said Monica Amaral, a junior communications major at Sonoma State. “Support the cause. This all wouldn’t happen if something wasn’t wrong with America. This is all very important for us to come out here as a group, as a Noma Nation and support the cause because if I wasn’t out here, I would feel like I would be doing something wrong.”
More than 300 protesters marched through all the dorm villages and main quads, picking up onlookers from all dorms. Students would cheer or jeer with their windows open, and cars that passed the sea of protesters honked with encouragement.
The event was titled “Not My America” and was posted on Facebook by a Sonoma State student.
“Donald Trump has been elected president,” the Facebook notice read. “He threatens us with a racist, sexist, homophobic rhetoric, but we will not be silenced. Come together tonight in solidarity against Trump. We will not allow our community to succumb to hate. We will speak out against discrimination. We will be strong together,” said the event details.
The Facebook event invited over 1,000 people, interested 450 of them and 317 accepted the invitation and numerous people joined in as the march flooded the campus. Protesters from both sides of the dispute showed up, but those who were against Trump outnumbered those for him.
“Gathering like that showed me that protesting does not necessarily have to be to change the outcome of an event,” said Karlie Eacock, a psychology and women and gender studies double major at Sonoma State. “Gathering can be for the sake of creating unity and a safe place for people to experience intense emotion. People should know that those feelings are valid and that there are people who support those feelings.”
The Facebook post suggested that those who joined the march were agreeing as a community to not succumb to hate. The protest was meant to speak out against discrimination and create a stronger community and that was exactly how many people felt.
“In the moment, I felt the polarity of being empowered, but also humbled, fearful but also hopeful . . . and those dualities were brilliant to experience” said Eacock.
Cayla Klein, a fifth year environmental studies and psychology minor was one to join the protest.
“I want everyone to stay united and I want to make sure our rights and our liberties are heard and continued.
want us to stay non-violent, I think that’s the biggest first step and to stay united, not to hate people because they have different views. I want everyone to support the love ofour SSU community and to stay together,” said Klein.
Several dozen Pro-Trump protestors from the other side followed the Anti-Trump protesters.
“It was something the community needed after a surprising election,” said Minwha Lee, junior business major at Sonoma State. “I realize that Hillary supporters are mad at the results, but I hope they come to terms with the result of Donald Trump as the president-elect. He has not even been in the office for a day and people are starting to protest and riot with violence across the United States, give him a chance to prove you otherwise.”
Students from all different backgrounds came out in some shape or form.
“I came to the United States for a better life, for a better future, for a better hope and here I am thinking if I really made the right choice,” said a student studying at Sonoma State under a student visa who wished to remain anonymous. ‘It’s messed up it has come to this.”
Around 10 p.m., during the last few minutes of the event, protesters gathered in front of the Green Music Center for a few minutes of silence. Sonoma State’s student president, Emily Hinton and other protest leaders shared the spotlight in leading the crowd to chants about freedom, equality and to assure that Sonoma State University will be a safe campus for students to listen to one another and feel protected.
“I attended the protest to show that I care about what is happening to our country and I want to be apart of the millions of people who are making a difference,” said Amaral. “We were showing that we are passionate about these rights and won’t back down until we are heard and respected.”
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) says it welcomes all students to make an initial appointment to meet with counselors to discuss concerns. If you would like to talk with someone or make an appointment, please call (707) 664-2153 between 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.