Dozens of students silently demonstrated by sitting in front of the Silent Tree at Geisel Library this afternoon. William Yeromian, a fourth year Muir College student, started the demonstration at 8 a.m. on Nov. 9, in reaction to the election results.
The demonstration contrasted this morning’s protest that resulted in an injury on the I-5 south freeway, where students marched while chanting “Education not deportation!” “The people united will never be divided!” and “Not my president.”
Yeromian sat by the silent tree with duct tape covering his mouth, holding a sign that read, “He’s not my president. She’s my president.”
“I’m upset because I’m homosexual and everything that’s allowed for progress — everything we’ve tried to do with Obama — is now being threatened,” said Yeromian.
Yeromian was at the protest that began in Thurgood Marshall College at midnight after the election results were announced. He was joined this afternoon by students who sat with him in solidarity.
Two counter protesters, wearing Trump’s signature red hat, briefly sat in front of the protesters, posed for photos, broadcasted their experiences on Snapchat, and expressed their support for Trump. Protesters eventually stood up and moved to sit in front of the counter protesters, inspiring others to do the same.
“I don’t think he’s racist or sexist. He has fought for LGBT. He has fought for the blacks. He has more women in executive positions in his company than anyone,” Trump supporter and third year student Gregory Lu said in an interview. “And I’m sure you’re about to ask me, ‘What about the comments he made [about grabbing women by the pussy]?’ but that kind of stuff doesn’t make him sexist.”
Clara Bird, a Warren College senior and protester, broke the silence to designate an area of the crowd for people to talk freely. Individuals spoke about their experiences and people gathered to listen and contribute.
“I’m three-times a minority: gay, female, and Hispanic,” said Lucy Vega, a Marshall College sophomore. “[Trump’s win] means that we will revert to everything that was wrong before. I’m afraid of gay rights being repealed.”
Many students at the Silent Tree demonstration remain troubled by the results of the election and intend to continue to protest. The UC San Diego Police Department has encouraged students to protest on campus to ensure safety and prevent any arrests.
Shine Cho is the News Editor at The Triton. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.