Bay Area responds to election

Video by Denika Williams

Denika Williams,

Chaos broke loose in various cities across the nation the moment Donald J. Trump became President Elect of the Unites States, including the Bay Area.

Like most Americans, I watched on Tuesday November 8th to see the results of the 45th Presidential Election. It was past midnight when the news broke that Donald Trump had been voted into the White house, not by winning the popular vote, but by winning the Electoral College with 290 votes over Hillary Clinton’s 232 votes.

Shortly after the results were final, I heard sirens from my bedroom window in East Oakland. I couldn’t tell if they were from the police, an ambulance, or a fire truck, but I knew I wasn’t going to the window to look because I’d rather be safe than sorry. When there is protesting in Oakland, aka “The Town,” there’s a 50 percent chance that it will end in a peaceful gathering or vandalism to the city. The night was uncertain and I did not go to bed until after 2am. The local news reported protesting in Downtown Oakland. No one was hurt but several storefronts were vandalized with graffiti and broken windows, along with trash cans being set on fire.   

The following days have been filled with both peaceful and not-so-peaceful protesting by Clinton supporters in the Bay Area and along the West Coast, states that Clinton won. Clinton had lost the Electoral College but won the popular vote with 61,781,982 votes equaling 47.9 percent over Trump’s 60,834,398 votes and 47.2 percent of the population. Clinton was able to secure Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Minnesota, Illinois, Virginia, and most of the Northeast: New York, Connecticut, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Trump took everything else.

The younger generation is leading the pack at the rallies that have followed, taking to the streets holding signs, and protesting via social media. Students from Oakland Tech, Berkeley High, and other high schools in Berkeley, Oakland, San Jose, and San Francisco have actively protested the new President Elect, according to CBS San Francisco.

Students have organized walkouts and marched to City Hall to express their concerns about Trump. Using the digital hashtag #NotMyPresident, many Californians feel that Trump does not represent them as a President because they don’t share the same ideas.

Cal State East Bay students organized a #NotOurPresident protest the day after the election on November 9th. Starting at 8PM, students gathered outside of the Recreation and Wellness Center (RAW) with signs, flags, megaphones, and music, chanting “What type of President? Not our President” and “Sí, se puede,” the well-known motto of activist Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers labor union.

Once the crowd grew to nearly 100 people, they begin to make their way through the school and along Mission Boulevard to their final destination: Hayward City Hall.

The community showed support to the protesters by joining in the march, honking their horns, and singing along to chants and songs. One student, carrying a boombox, blared the YG hip-hop song “F*ck Donald Trump” to motivate the supporters.

There was a crowd of at least 200 students and residents by the time the march reached City Hall. Once in front, protesters participated in a die-in, where they laid flat on their backs and paid homage to more than 100 victims of police brutality. Next, student organizers held a megaphone and voiced their concerns about Trump’s immigration statements, health care, and the treatment of women. One of the organizers of the rally, Isaiah Avila-De La Cruz, said he and two friends started the gathering with a few chants because they were upset about the election, and it grew into a movement.

“We started this because we were upset about the presidency,” Avila-De La Cruz said. “We know that Donald Trump is not the right President for us. He’s going to take back almost everything that our ancestors, and our forefathers have fought for. Now we are down here at City Hall. We got the endorsement of the Mayor and the City Hall assemblywoman. We got our voices out and a lot of people heard. That was the point of this.”

Isaac Mora, an East Bay student and Oakland resident who spoke during the rally, explained that he doesn’t like what Trump represents as a person or President. “I’m here to resist what Donald Trump stands for and to build organization and inspire movement so that we can get to a place where we bring concessions to people and actually start accomplishing something and not just protest, protest.”

According to Mora, Trump represents xenophobia, racism, exploitation, and sexism. When he spoke during the rally he encouraged students to come together for the causes they stood for, and values they believed in.