Hundreds of UCLA students convened in front of Kerckhoff Hall on November 10 to protest Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election. Rally participants expressed deep fear and anger over the hatred of the new president and his followers, validated marginalized identities who are in particularly increased physical and emotional danger, and attempted to prepare supporters for four years of sustained resistance.
The rally began at 11am with comments from representatives from Young Progressives Demanding Action at UCLA, who organized the rally: “They don’t win until we become complacent…for the next four years, use civil disobedience, phone bank, canvas, vote. This is really in our hands.” After the opening remarks, UCLA students, faculty, and local community members took turns talking to the crowd, alternating between talking about their own feelings and experiences and energizing the crowd for future action.
Comparative Literature Professor Gil Hochberg, along with three other professors, informed the crowd that they created a new committee dedicated to providing intellectual and emotional support to students resisting Trump. “We are gonna work together. It’s not gonna be easy, but you can’t let that go. You can’t work for a little bit and be disturbed a little bit and let it go.” Information science professors Sarah Roberts and Safiya Noble energized the crowd by pointing out the United States’ long history of oppression. According to Roberts, “This is the end game of over forty years of neoliberal control and oppression from the United States of America on other peoples, on other countries. This is 200 years plus of oppression in the United States of black people and indigenous people in this country.” Noble added, “We’ve got everything at stake right now…this is happening on our watch. This is the future we will inherit.”
At noon, the rally turned into a march that looped around campus past Powell Library, Perloff Hall, and Schoenberg Hall before ending up back at Kerckhoff. Students chanted phrases such as “F*** Donald Trump!” “Hey, hey, listen clear, immigrants are welcome here!” “Not our president!” and “The people united will never be divided!” At the end of march, attendees gathered for final words of encouragement.