Protests at the EMU: U of O students protest inauguration of President Donald Trump
Outside the Erb Memorial Union, University of Oregon students, staff, and Eugene residents assembled at the amphitheatre of the EMU, signs drawn and chants loud.
Staff, students, and citizens gathered to protest the inauguration of the new president of the United States, Donald Trump, on Jan. 20.
At 5 p.m., what was a small group assembled into a crowd of roughly 200 people, wielding signs and chants to the organizers of the event.
Jody Leeder, a student at University of Oregon, arrived to the stand, greeting those who came out to the EMU, and offered water to those protesting.
“I don’t think he’ll make America great again,” said Leeder, opening to the crowd of hundreds, “I don’t think it ever was,”
Alma Hartman, another University of Oregon student, spoke on stage about diversity, that individuals of this country are very different, and not confined to race or belief.
“We are a mixed country,” said Hartman. “When we forget how diverse we are, our unique opinions, this is what happens,” in response to attitudes surrounding the political season, “We can start with decency.”
An anonymous individual came to the podium after Hartman, and spoke about the changes President Trump has already made. He also spoke about the removal of pages on the U.S. Gov website, such as the LGBTQ page, as well as the Climate Change section, and replacing them with a page in support of Police Officers.
Leeder discussed the direction he believed the country was going in terms of feminism and social rights.
“This has been going on for many years,” said Leeder. “Trump wants to take us back to the 1950’s as far as social rights and feminism.”
Leeder encouraged protesters to rally together, and to go to political offices and have their voices heard.
Another anonymous protester, who went by the name of “Tangelo,” stepped up to the podium, and spoke about Former President Obama releasing or cutting down the sentences of political prisoners and whistleblowers, as well as what “Tangelo” described as “The capital F word,” fascism.
“Fascism is coming, it is real, but it’s not here yet,” said Tangelo. “A fascism does not appear from an election, fascism is the merger of corporate and military power and racist populism.”
Mors Murphy, a student, spoke about the “new” form of slavery, wage labor, and his desire to have a universal income in the future. Murphy also touched on the early signs of fascism.
“We need to watch very carefully, as one of the signs of fascism is suppression of the media, and what Donald Trump has done, is pretty much fire everyone that he doesn’t want reporting on him in the white house,” said Murphy.
The crowds began to chant in unison: “No Trump no KKK so fascist USA!” as well as “Viva la revolution!”
Leeder reminded the crowd that organizers of the protest intended for it to be peaceful, to stay on the sidewalks, and that University, as well as Eugene police were there to help. A group of protesters began chanting “Fuck the cops,” while organizers defended the police on the podium. Leeder also reminded protesters to watch their actions, as this was “going to be in the news.”
One crowd member shouted “Let the masses decide,” in reference to the possible result of their actions.
6 p.m. rolled around, and protesters began to march to Kesey Square in Eugene, police rode behind and in front as people held signs and chanted against the new president.
The protesters began to chant once again: “No Trump no KKK so fascist USA!” and then moved on to“Build bridges not walls,” and “Donald Trump, go away, racist, sexist, anti-gay.”
The protest remained peaceful throughout the duration.
Story by Hannah Buffington