Hundreds rallied in downtown Durham on Sunday to protest President-elect Donald Trump’s rise to the White House and unify in the face of policies they believe will further racism, sexism, homophobia and anti-immigrant attitudes.
The Durham in Defiance rally drew roughly 500 people and featured a wide range of speakers who said they fear how a Trump administration will treat minority groups. They vowed to build connections and resist being marginalized after the Republican victory.
“Make some noise if you’re a person of color who’s not going to sit down for Donald Trump,” said Jazmynne Williams, a Duke University student. “Make some noise if you’re white and feel like ending racism is going to make your life better.”
Durham’s rally at the Farmers’ Market followed other Trump protests that have drawn thousands nationwide, including in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. Anti-Trump gatherings have been largely peaceful, though dozens of protesters have been arrested and the Associated Press reported two police officers were slightly injured in Indianapolis.
Hundreds marched in downtown Raleigh on Friday night.
Protesters in Durham on Sunday carried signs that read “Dissent is the Highest Form of Patriotism” and “Proud to Be a Nasty Woman,” a reference to Trump’s remarks in the final debate with Democrat Hillary Clinton. They wore T-shirts that read “Latina” and “I am an Immigrant.”
Michelle Burton, a school librarian in Durham County, said a Hispanic fifth-grader at her elementary school told her, “My mom believes that God will take care of everything but she’s also worried that she’s not a citizen and she doesn’t want to go to El Salvador because the schools are bad.
“I didn’t know what to say to her,” Burton said.
At the rally, children’s drawings stretched out 20 feet across the concrete floor of the market, including one that read “Donalb Trump is not our presibent.” At one corner of the gathering, protesters were offered a chance to break old coffee cups on a plastic tarp – a vent for post-election frustration.
“This man called Mexicans rapists and said he’d build a wall,” said Bryan Proffitt, one of the organizers and president of Durham Association of Educators. “Doesn’t that make y’all angry? Y’all were very angry about all that stuff, but it doesn’t seem that Hillary Clinton was. ... Our safety is not predicated on us being quiet. Our safety is based on being loud.”
The rally drew no noticeable Trump counterprotesters Sunday.
Trump supporters repeatedly have called on President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to encourage a calm and peaceful transition of presidential power.