Hundreds of students and numerous faculty members from the Claremont Colleges participated in a march through campus Friday afternoon to reaffirm the Claremont community’s commitment to supporting all marginalized groups attacked by President-elect Donald Trump.
Protesters gathered at the Honnold Mudd Library at 2 p.m. wearing all-black in solidarity and marched through Pomona, Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, and Harvey Mudd. Some participants carried anti-Trump signs, but the majority of posters focused on general inclusion and support for marginalized communities.
Claremont protesters joined college students across the country, from UCLA to University of Pittsburgh. These students have organized anti-Trump, pro-unity protests on their respective campuses.
“Personally, it’s either do this or grieve the fact that so many people are going to be harmed so awfully in the next four years,” Zippy Wilson CM ‘19 explained before the protest. “I’m here in hopes to show people that I’m an ally to them, and hope to show other groups that they can be an ally to me.”
Monica Acosta SC ’19 echoed Wilson’s disappointment with the election results. “I had my day of grieving but now I really want to be doing something,” Acosta said. “I feel a lot more productive now that I’m actually doing something, and that’s why I think a lot of people are here today.”
Jacquelyn Aguilera PZ ‘19, one of the main organizers, spoke to the crowd outside the library before the march began.
“During these times I could very easily point my finger to Trump, but no,” she said. “Years after Trump finishes his presidency, he will continue to be Trump. And America will continue, and America was never great.
“Now we are here to say to the Claremont Colleges, ‘no’. No, you will not participate in this hate. … I would like to ask everyone to look to your right, and to your left. Take a deep breath, take in your surroundings, and most importantly, look into yourself. You are a vehicle of change. You are a vehicle of love. You are a vehicle of unity.”
Aguilera noted that the event was only made possible with “the support of multiple students and offices such as the HIVE, CLSA, OBSA, and OID, among others.” She went on to acknowledge the professors and other staff who reached out to them.
As they marched, students chanted slogans expressing support for many issues, including female reproductive rights, the LGBTQ community, the Muslim community, immigrants, and Black Lives Matter. Protesters also encouraged broad unity, chanting in both English and Spanish, “The people united will never be divided.”
At Claremont McKenna College, the marchers proceeded through North Quad chanting, “America was never great.” While numerous CMC students participated in the march, others watched the protest from their dorm rooms and balconies without joining in.
Following the march, Pitzer Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Nigel Boyle expressed his support for the movement. Noting the “vitriolic rhetoric” of this election cycle, Boyle expressed that the faculty of Pitzer College “stands in solidarity against the hate that has become normalized discourse in this campaign.”
Guneet Kaur SC ’19 participated in the march and gave a speech afterwards as well. “I came out today because I was ready for collective action,” Kaur said. “I’m ready to see people mobilize. … Being here is an awesome show of support, but that is just the beginning. This is a call to action. … What’s next is being there for those communities that are most affected, going out and doing work in those grassroots organizations, giving them your time and your money, and showing them your moral support and compassion.
“It’s not about Trump, and it’s not about hate,” Kaur concluded. “It’s about the love and the revolution that we can create from this.”