Anti-Trump protest unites college students

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By Lauren Colberg and Joshua Davis

East Los Angeles College students took part in a walkout last Wednesday to protest the election of Donald Trump as president.

Students began the walkout at 11 a.m., and marched together around the school and to City hall.

The walkout was organized by a group of students the morning after the presidential election on Nov. 8.

The students got in touch with the ASU and other organizations and spent the next week planning the protest. 

The expected turnout for the protest was between 200 and 300 ELAC students and attracted the attention of large TV news outlets as well as ELAC administrators. 

The organizers set up tables to make posters and give out bottles of water.

ELAC students were not the only ones taking part in the walkout. 

“The meaning of this walk is to show unity within our communities.  We got in touch with LACCD and other local colleges, and also with colleges in New York, so we hope they’ll mention us over there,” said Cass Sotomayor,an organizer of the event.

For several protestors, this was their first time being politically active. 

Among the protestors were people who had voted for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries and later voted for Hillary Clinton in the presidential election. 

“I never used to watch the debates, but now I do.  You need to be informed to know what you’re going to do next,” Rebekah Galvan said.

During the walkout, protestors, led by Lauren Gonzales, chanted in unison, shouting phrases like “My body, my choice” and “We make America great.”  Several protestors also waved California and Mexico flags.

During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly stated that he plans to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border, and intends to deport all illegal immigrants from the U.S. 

President-elect Trump has been accused of using racist rhetoric on the campaign trail aimed at people of color.

In the week leading to the walkout, there have been a number of protests across the country in response to Donald Trump’s election. 

The students who organized the walkout explained that they wanted to wait until the initial anger that has caused riots during other protests had calmed down. 

According to Sotomayor, they took steps to guarantee the safety of the protesters.

“We’ve gathered a group of people that have experience organizing protests so that if anyone tries to incite violence or gets out of control we are able to respond appropriately.” 

The students also reached out to the Sheriff’s Department as well as the LAPD.

Not everyone supported last Wednesday’s walkout. 

Michael Wernick, who was on campus to pick up a friend, stated that the students should “walk back in.”

As protesters marched through the campus, some students heckled them, shouting “Trump already won” and “It’s too late” as they walked to their classes.

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