Students, professors unite against hateful acts

People protest Trump's presidency in Bosco Plaza on Nov. 15, 2016. (Payton Heinze| The Collegian)

A group of around 30 people united to create awareness on respect, understanding and love among groups, according to Caitlyn Lambrecht, junior in theater. The group’s intent of the protest was to create a space to talk, learn about others and regain the sense of community.

Lambrecht, who held a magnet inscribed with “Kindness Matters,” said they were not against the new administration, but rather were worried about the increased amount of hateful acts that have taken place in the past week after the elections.

“We are absolutely not against a person or group of people,” Lambrecht said. “I think the election might have something to do with (hateful acts), but not necessarily from any particular side. I think it highlighted some dissonance that might have already been there.”

David Williams, graduate student in mathematics, introduced himself as a member of the gay community and said he joined the cause to express solidarity with all the people who are hurting after the elections.

“I’m very blessed to haven’t experienced any violence,” Williams said, “but there was a transwoman in the school I went to in Tennessee whose car was burned down and it had Trump’s name painted on the side and who knows if it is tied to the Republican party or Trump’s supporters? But the fact that it was a hate crime and that it was attached to the election just made it hurt and made it feel like it was part of a bigger narrative of violence that seems to be going on right now.”

Williams said there is not much to do right now except wait until the administration takes office. The protest, he said, is more about showing people they should be supporting each other and if future legislative propositions take away some people’s rights, they are going to fight it.

Another protester was Sarah Lane, junior in early childhood education. Lane said she joined the protest to spread love, which is what America is needing now.

“I’ve heard children crying and being afraid of what is going to happen,” Lane said. “I think protests like this that are peaceful and try to spread love are what they need, are good examples for them because this is part of our democracy. We are allowed to protest peacefully like this, so I think this is good for them to see.”

Aubrey Mann, senior in theater, said she was also there to spread love. Mann said she feels the election results instigated a divided nation and this is the time to come together, show support for everyone and spread awareness in a conservative community like Manhattan.

“One of my friends recently had an incident in the Union where her phone was thrown down for watching a video of Obama,” Mann said. “She was told ‘that monkey’ was irrelevant now and that we shouldn’t listen to him anymore.”

Mann also attended a protest organized by high school students in Lawrence on Nov. 12. She said hundreds of people of all ages and backgrounds walked down Massachusetts Street and talked about the violence that has been taking place in the country.