Over 3,000 demonstrators gathered in downtown San Francisco on Wednesday, Nov. 9 in an act of civil rebellion against the new President-elect Donald Trump.
The demonstration was organized via Facebook by Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) Coalition. ANSWER is a group that formed in 2001 that strives to stand up to racism, bigotry and unjust acts of war. Michael Wang, representative organizer working for ANSWER for four years, commented on Wednesday’s protest.
“These protests are about more than Trump’s victory, they represent people standing up to the bigotry, racism, sexism we have seen during this election,” he said. Wang also added that the SF-based ANSWER was linked with several other protests that sprung up Wednesday in New York City, Los Angeles and Oakland. “Although these other protests weren’t organized by us, that’s the beauty in it… many of these demonstrations are grassroots,” Wang said.
ANSWER notified and worked with the City, including SFPD and Muni, to establish a route and precautionary measures which insured an overall peaceful demonstration.
The protest began at 5p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9. The crowd blared and cried “No justice, no peace” and “Si se puede.” Protesters with signs that read “Fight Back Against Sexism, Homophobia” and “Not my Prez” banded together in a near five mile march that began at Powell and Market and looped through the Mission and Castro districts, eventually ending at City Hall. The march was predominantly led by activist Frank Lara, a bilingual school teacher from Mexico. Many onlookers form balconies, cars, stores and restaurants held phones to record the walk, and some even joined demonstrators in the street.
At the start of the demonstration David Campos, representative of the Mission district on the Board of Supervisors, stood and gave an impassioned speech to being in the march. “We are fighting for the rights of the marginalized,” he commented after. “Truth be told, the Board of Supervisors is in a state of shock currently. We haven’t even had the chance yet to all meet and process the outcome of the election.”
The demonstration developed through a mass Facebook invitation that included over 3,200 people. Organizers from ANSWER were handing out flyers labelled “EMERGENCY PROTEST” on USF campus Wednesday afternoon. Second year business admin major Jaycie Abel headed downtown as soon as she heard of the demonstration.
“I want to go out there and be a part of history,” Abel said, “I hear about it through Facebook and thought I could have the opportunity to show support for minorities, women, immigrants, mainly all people who have been invalidated by the president-elect.”
Alaina Arroyo, a Cultural Diversities transfer student here at USF, was seen in the crowd with other students in the protest.
“I wanted to get out here and let my voice be heard. Getting involved in the movement and being surrounded by like minded people is a good way to get some of my frustrations out,” Arroyo said, holding a large homage sign that said “F— Donald Trump” in red, white and blue.
Subsequent protests have continued to occur not only in the City, but in major metropolitan areas across the United States— indicative of the country’s struggle to process this election’s outcome.
Photo Credit: Hursh Karkhanis/ Foghorn