More than 300 students spent over seven hours Wednesday protesting the election of Republican Donald Trump on campus and throughout downtown Austin.
The protest, one of many organized by college students across the country, began at 11 a.m. in front of the Tower with chants of “He’s not my president” and “Sí se puede.” At 1:39 p.m., protesters began to walk to the South First Street Bridge where protesters took a 20-minute break. They then proceeded to the Congress Avenue Bridge to continue chanting.
At 3:20 p.m., they began walking back to campus where they protested until 5:15 p.m. when they moved toward the Capitol.
Students who participated in the protest said they were protesting Trump’s prospective policies and the sentiments he presented during his campaign. Members of the Revolutionary Student Front and members of the Palestine Solidarity Committee marched in the protest but declined to comment.
See below: The Daily Texan streamed the protest live on Facebook yesterday.
Government and history freshman Gabriela Muro said she participated in the protest to show she was not scared as an undocumented student.
“I am personally an undocumented Mexican-American, and it really terrified me to find out that the election swung in Trump’s favor,” Muro said. “But I came out here today to show them that I am undocumented and unafraid and I’m not just going to let them step over me.
Biochemistry senior Dania Hussein said she was hoping the election wouldn’t turn out the way it did.
“I don’t think that a man that condones xenophobia, sexism, homophobia, should be in office because he is not representative of much of the country or its people,” Hussein said. “A lot of my family were in tears because we are Muslim, and so the hate he has already been spewing just when he was running turned a lot of the nation against us, and it’s scary to think what could happen in four years with him in office.”
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Journalism freshman Juan Milan said he was surprised when he saw the results of the election.
“I think those of us who didn’t stay up until [2 a.m.] to view the results woke up in shock that somebody we brought up as a joke actually won the presidency,” Milan said. “So, I think today’s reaction is a perfect reaction towards that shock and that outrage, and I’m glad my fellow Longhorns are out here with us against this.”
Lisa B. Thompson, associate professor of African and African diaspora studies, said she saw herself in the group of students protesting.
“It’s beautiful to see the students taking agency and seeing such a beautiful diverse group of students — age, nationality, race, sexuality, gender — to protest and be able to do something constructive to show their feelings about what happened,” Thompson said. “I was a student at [University of California Los Angeles] during the anti-apartheid rallies, and we protested and it was important.”
Soncia Reagins-Lilly, vice president for student affairs and dean of students, said in an email to the student body that after a close and highly contentious election we are first a community of shared values and respect.
“We are our very best when we come together across our differences to support every member of our Longhorn community,” Reagins-Lilly said in the email. “I know, because I know you, that our campus will continue to be a place of understanding, growth and exceptional scholarship, as we navigate the resulting implications of the election.”
Austin City Council member Greg Casar, who joined the protest at the South First Street Bridge, said today was an important day to begin resistance against a Trump presidency.
“Many leaders, including Trump, are calling for healing, and we cannot heal,” Casar said. “Instead we need to organize and support protesters like this and be in the streets, and as a city, I’m calling on us to be a part of that resistance and not comply with the unconstitutional mandates Trump may pass along to us that might hurt our immigrant families.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, an estimated 200 students came together in protest at UCLA after Trump gave his acceptance speech. UCLA’s student newspaper, The Daily Bruin, reported images of protesters burning trash and described students attempting to flip a car.
At the University of Southern California, journalism student Magali Gauthier said in an email about 100 students gathered on campus after Trump won the presidency. At the protest, different students took turns speaking to the crowd.
The San Diego Tribune reported that about 50 [University California San Diego] students sat silently in protest in front of the school’s library.
At Yale, students last night convened for a “primal scream” on campus as Trump’s lead extended, according to the Yale Daily News.
Nick Hudson said he saw the UT student protest on Facebook and headed over because he works nearby.
“I’m upset about the election, I’m concerned about electing someone who has demonstrated a willingness to oppress Muslims, immigrants and the LGBT community, who there are allegations of sexual assaults against and who has bragged about sexual assaults,” Hudson said.
Van Nguyen, Will Clark and Paul Cobler contributed to this report.
This story has been updated since its original publication.