Originally written on November 15.
Ten days after Donald Trump was elected president students across Chicago continued to protest, calling for action on a variety of issues including the appointment of the controversial Steve Bannon as senior advisor to the president, and a petition calling for the support of undocumented students.
“‘It’s not about changing him becoming the president, it’s about fighting against the type of rhetoric he has used in his campaign to become president,” said Joe Padilla, coordinator of U.I.C. Student Action, Joe Padilla.
Hundreds of Students at the University of Illinois Chicago and the University of Chicago walked out of class to “stand in solidarity against the racism, sexism and xenophobia that Donald Trump perpetuates.” They were part of a growing movement nationwide to keep the heat on the President-elect on a host of issues.
“I’m Jewish and one thing that we’ve seen during Trump’s campaign is an insurgence of anti-Semitism,” said University of Chicago senior Mari Cohen, 21, “especially perpetuated by people like Steve Bannon and his news network, so that’s something I hadn’t really experience in my life before because I’m also a white, privileged person, so this hate is kind of like a wakeup call, we’re all unsafe in this way.”
Bannon is the founder of Breitbart, an on line publication that has drawn fire for its biased reporting , and a leader of the ‘alt-right’ movement
A statement to the Facebook group “UChicago Stop Trump Walkout and Rally” UChicago Student Action read in part: “in this moment of crisis we need to hold on to our radical vision of the world we want and need. This election has brought out a terrifying sentiment in a good portion of our population. Trump’s rhetoric has emboldened white supremacists and bigots and they’re already making it clear they won’t be staying in the shadows.”
Students expressed concern about Trump’s promise to crack down on undocumented immigrants and how that would affect students on campuses across the country.
“There’s been a lot of racially motivated assaults that have taken place [around the country] since Tuesday, and it makes me worry about my family, my friends, people that I care about on campus, because you’re not even safe going out during the day anymore,” said U.I.C. freshman Semira Allen,18.
Many of these students said they simply want their voices heard. They added that they know that this one event won’t change the results of the election but they want to bring awareness to the issues that have been occurring and to unite one another.
“We’re here, there is a response to the calamity that just occurred and we don’t plan on going away,” said Tristian Bock-Hughes, core leader of UChicago Student Action.