‘Love Trumps Hate’ peaceful protest makes a statement in Bosco Plaza

Penny Lighthill, junior in psychology, Yashera Ames, K-State alum, and others protest Donald Trump's presidency in Bosco Student Plaza on Nov. 15, 2016. (Payton Heinze | The Collegian)

In a small circle in Bosco Student Plaza, protestors sat silently, holding brightly-colored poster board signs that displayed encouraging statements.

Some signs read “choose love” and “we’re stronger together.” Several students stared as they walked past the peaceful protest, some even taking pictures.

Protestors included Penny Lighthill, junior in psychology, Yashera Ames, Kansas State alum and Manhattan resident, and Manhattan residents Joy Spickelmier and Liz Gassmann.

Although they were small in numbers, the group wanted to make a statement about spreading love after an election result they were not pleased with.

“In the wake of all the violent protests and riots going on after the election we wanted to stand out in a way that wasn’t something destructive,” Lighthill said. “I get why people result to violence because they think that’s the only way they’re going to be heard, but we’re trying to add some contrast to that.”

The protestors explained they were unhappy with the policies President-elect Donald Trump plans to enact, specifically regarding religion and LGBT discrimination.

“People are scared for the state America is in and where we’re headed,” Ames said. “We just want to show that we stand with these people in solidarity. We’re here to listen to those that are terrified and show them that this is a safe place to release any emotions they’re feeling.”

Spickelmier and Lighthill organized the “Love Trumps Hate” protest after the election ended. They created a Facebook event page and shared it with the Manhattan community to get the word out.

“I had a lot of positive feedback from people who saw the event on Facebook,” Spickelmier said. “Even those who said they weren’t able to come sent us their love and said they would be there in spirit.”

The description on the Facebook event page read, “Meet in the center of Bosco Plaza on Nov. 15 from 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. We’ll have signs, it’ll be chill. Don’t show up if you want to start violence. We will sit in the middle and hold hands, hug one another. We are stronger together. I want people to see us and understand that we are very vast in numbers. I want them to see that we will support each other, we will love one another.”