On Saturday, Feb. 4, members of Miami College Democrats, Oxford Students for Peace and Justice, Butler County Progressives and Miami and Oxford community members gathered near the Phi Delt Gates for a peaceful “Demonstration Against the Trump Agenda.”
The event started around 11:00 a.m. with roughly 30 protesters huddled near the gates. More demonstrators gathered as time went on. By noon, there were more than 100 people voicing their concerns with President Trump’s administration.
Charles Kennick, secretary for College Democrats, hoped the event would “bring together as many liberals in Oxford as possible.” Kennick went on to explain that “liberals and progressives are valued, despite Miami’s conservative stereotype.”
“The first 15 days of President Trump’s administration could not have gone worse,” Kennick said.
The steps taken to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Trump’s order to construct the Mexican border wall and Trump’s executive order banning entry from seven majority-Muslim countries were the main reasons Kennick cited which had led to the organization of the event.
Fliers were handed out at the protest outlining the protester’s grievances. The concerns listed on the flyers included Trump’s pick for secretary of education Betsy DeVos, order to move forward with the construction of the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines and the refrain of “America first.”
Most of the demonstration took the form of chants, including, “Say it loud, say it clear, immigrants are welcome here,” and, “Ain’t no power like the power of the people ‘cause the power of the people won’t stop.”
In addition to chanting, many protestors brought along signs that read, “Hate has no home here,” and, “Racism doesn’t prevent terror, it creates it.” Signs were held by children, university students and adults alike, with one toddler holding a poster that read, “My first protest with Trump won’t be my last.”
Demonstrators were high in numbers and energy, eager to practice their First Amendment rights. On multiple occasions, passengers in cars passing by the corner shouted at the protesters. Some shouted Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
Keeley Dunham, a junior biology major, cited her concern with Trump’s dismissal of climate change as her main reason for attending the event.
“President Trump is neglecting the environment,” Dunham said.
In an official statement from Miami’s College Democrats about the protest, they outlined 15 specific grievances which had prompted them to organize.
“The actions Donald Trump has taken thus far, as well as his promises for the near future, alarm us,” the statement reads. “They do not place the America we love first, but rather an America that has lost sight of its courage and founding principles.”