East Bay students hold peaceful protest

Louis LaVenture,

Screaming, yelling and chanting could be heard all across the Cal State East Bay Hayward campus last Wednesday.
The news circulated primarily through social media and urged students, faculty and staff to gather in protest of the election of Donald Trump as the successor to current President of the United States, Barack Obama.

Initially a march through campus took place from noon to around 2 p.m. During the second protest, at 8 p.m., students gathered again at the courtyard in front of the RAW Center before they made their way to the dorms to collect more people. The group marched through campus and down Carlos Bee Boulevard to Hayward City Hall.

The whole way there the group chanted, sang and yelled their displeasure and anxiety for Trump’s impending presidency. In one of the chants, organizers yelled to the crowd, “What kind of president?” and the crowd answered back, “Not my president!” Another chant repeated, “No justice, no peace.”

“I’ll be damned if what Cesar Chavez did goes to waste!” An organizer yelled into his megaphone. “MLK’s turning over in his grave right now!”

As the group made it to Mission Boulevard, cars honked and yelled support and criticism toward the peaceful protest, which numbered over 60 students. Hayward Police officers directed traffic when it came time for the large group to cross the street to city hall.

“This is what being a college student is all about,” Hayward resident Bernice Castro said. “This is beautiful. Young people trying to use their freedom to say ‘hey, I don’t like this. I didn’t make this decision.’”

Castro said she protested in the 1970s and 1980s with the farmworkers movement, led by civil rights leader Cesar Chavez.

Once the group arrived at city hall, everyone laid down on the ground as organizers read aloud 102 names of men, women and children who had been murdered by police brutality this year. After each name was called, the crowd softly chanted, “say their name.”

Afterward, students, staff and community members engaged the crowd with song, prayer and empowering messages about uniting during polarizing times.

The entire rally remained peaceful, even when the driver of a passing car yelled at the group, “Go back to Mexico! Donald Trump! Yeah!”

As the crowd sang and talked, Hayward Police Officers circled the block periodically and several cars passed by playing the rapper YG’s hit song from earlier this year “Fuck Donald Trump.”

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, City Administrator Sabrina Landreth and CSUEB President Leroy Morishita all issued letters to residents and students that encouraged them to exercise their political rights and freedoms but to keep things peaceful.

Several businesses were looted and damaged during the protests in downtown Oakland on Wednesday, and more than 20 arrests were made.