A rally protesting president-elect Donald Trump’s started in the early evening on Monday, Nov. 14 on Eastern Michigan University’s campus.
A large crowd gathered around McKenny Hall’s outdoor fountain before marching through downtown Ypsilanti. Students and community members carried signs denouncing Trump as president, some containing obscenities and insults toward the candidate.
“We need to show Trump that orange is not the new black,” said Sam Jones-Darling, senator for EMU’s Student Government. “Are you ready to show president-elect Donald Trump – I can’t believe I have to say that – that we as Americans will not give up our right to free assembly, our right to free speech, and that we will keep talking?”
There was a strong emphasis before the march began to maintain peaceful protest. A member of the crowd frequently interrupted the leaders of the protest with curses toward the police in what seemed to be an attempt to start a fight.
Despite attempts from a member of the crowd to instigate, the majority of the protesters quickly reaffirmed the promise of a violence-free march.
“In a lot of cases, people don’t get it,” said Jones-Darling, “they don’t get that we wish to be peaceful, we wish to live in a country that the peaceful lead.”
Interruptions continued throughout the speeches from Jones-Darling and others; once the march began protesters began to chant.
“We, reject, the president-elect!” the crowd chanted as loud as possible down the streets of Ypsilanti.
Many citizens stepped out of their homes to watch marchers move by. Traffic was slowed when the march moved onto the streets, though no injuries or violence were reported as a result.
Ypsilanti police blocked some of the more major intersections to keep protesters safe. Sam Jones-Darling thanked them at the end of the rally for controlling traffic and protecting the protesters.
Among the protesters was Marlena Shoelier, a citizen who came to experience her first political protest. When asked why she chose this protest among others, she simply said "Trump."
“[Trump] is dangerous, he’s very dangerous and the people who voted him in are dangerous,” she said, “so we have to do something."
Marlena carried a bright pink sign that read “Nasty Woman” in reference to Donald Trump’s comment toward Hillary Clinton in the third presidential debate. Multiple protesters desired pictures of said sign.
The march ended on the return to EMU’s Mckenny Hall, though left to the fountain it started at. The crowd lingered after the march to continue chants like “Love Trumps Hate” and “Black Lives Matter.” Jones-Darling kept the crowd going with his own words, taking shots at Trump’s vice president pick Mick Pence.
“We cannot let a 'basket of deplorables' reverse the wonderful things we have done in this country,” he said. “We cannot let his horrifying vice president – god why did he pick that man as his vice president?”
His final few words encouraged people to continue the protest.
“We can’t sit down, this election has shown us we can’t sit down,” he said. “We can’t be quiet, we have to lose our voice, we have to march.”