Hundreds of students gathered in front of the Honnold-Mudd Library to stage a protest in the name of Claremont Colleges United Against Hate on Friday, Nov. 11.
The aim of the protest, according to its Facebook event page, was to “condemn the vitriolic hate spread by Donald Trump.”
Waving signs, students set off from Pomona College and walked through all the 5C campuses before returning to Honnold-Mudd Library, where students and faculty made speeches and spoke about “reaffirming Claremont Community’s dedication to protect LGBTQ+ rights, racial equality, disability rights, religious freedom, and all other marginalized communities,” according to the Facebook page.
Organizers led chants such as “silence is violence,” “the people, united, will never be divided,” and “migrant rights are human rights.”
“Almost all of my friends are queer and a lot of them are trans, so it’s been really hard for us to see Trump and Pence get elected,” said Elliot Joyce PZ ’19, one of the organizers of the protest.
“[The protest is] a step towards healing and towards building more community and going beyond just surviving the pain and fear we’re in,” Joyce said. “With each other, we’re able to start organizing and making changes ourselves.”
Celia Eydeland PO ’18, a student who joined the protest, said, “My parents immigrated from a country because they were unsafe there. I’m against any policy [Trump has] that is against women and minorities, or inciting fear.”
“It’s important to know that there’s still love left in the world,” Abigail Metsch SC ’19 said. “I think that by expressing our voices right now it gives people community, and it lets people know that there are people watching out for them and that we’re all going to protect each other.”
During speeches that took place after the protest, Jacquelyn Aguilera PZ ’19, the chief organizer of the event, spoke about the importance of “self-educating” on issues surrounding immigrants and minorities, listening to the voices of classmates affected, and “practicing radical self-love” following Trump’s election, which shook the Claremont campuses.
Aguilera explained why she decided to create the protest in an email to TSL.
“We needed to set precedent to hold the Claremont community and institutions responsible to build upon their support for these marginalized communities,” she swrote. “I made a Facebook event, sent out emails, and miraculously that night there were 15 passionate people ready to work. The next night there were 30.”
“We put all our energy … towards love in the form of a protest,” she wrote. “I’m forever grateful to the students who came.”