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College students refuse to accept Trump’s inauguration, protest nationwide

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – “No Donald Trump. No KKK. No fascist USA.”

That chant and others echoed out Friday afternoon in the streets of St. Louis as protesters — a mix of students from a variety of nearby colleges as well as community members — walked the streets near Washington University in St. Louis in protest of the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

The 100 or so marchers repeated that same chant as they entered the grounds of Washington University, which played host to a presidential debate in October.

“Not my president,” the crowd yelled many times. Another favorite was: “Racist. Fascist. Anti-gay. Donald Trump can go away.”

Part of a nationwide walkout effort organized by Socialist Students, the St. Louis march included multiple signs that read “Resist Trump.” One student carried an upside down flag. Another sign read “Leave McCarthyism in 1950.”

Sarah Lacy, an anthropology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, told the crowd her students are “afraid of a president who views us as exploitable commodities at best and as sex objects and criminals at worst.”

“His inauguration today was the pulling off of the mask of who has control of our government for decades — millionaires and billionaires,” Lacy said.

The scene on Friday at Washington University wasn’t unique. Similar protests and walkouts took place on college campuses across the country as students assembled, chanted vulgarities and issued demands.

At the University of Texas, The Austin Chronicle reported that roughly 400 students walked out of class in a protest organized by multiple leftist groups.

One speaker at the event rattled off a list of demands for the public university. They included “no university cooperation with [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement]; no support for white nationalists on campus; UT divestment in companies complicit in the illegal occupation of Palestinian land; and stronger rights for UT workers,” the newspaper reported.

“It’s OK to cry today,” a speaker told a throng of protesters assembled on the campus of the University of Georgia.

At least one professor apparently did cry Friday as she struggled with the realization of a President Trump. A College Fix reporter tweeted she overheard a student at Columbia University say her professor broke down in tears at the end of class and told students “to stay strong [and] that it’s our duty to protest.”

In Memphis, student organizers from four area universities staged a march and issued demands for their own universities.

“This morning my business professor said society was rigged,” an undocumented student from Christian Brothers University told the crowd gathered. “It is. You know why? We’re divided. Minorities are scared. My message is that we need to come together if we want to win this fight. I don’t want anything for free, I only want fairness.”

A student walkout joined forces with a pro-immigrant march in Seattle. And over at the University of Illinois-Chicago, a video shows a large crowd of  students shouting “Donald Trump has got to go!”

Walkouts also occurred at well-known institutions such as the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Portland State University, University of Cincinnati and the University of Minnesota.

Students at multiple colleges in California organized events, with tweets showing walkouts also taking place at the University of California Irvine, the University of Southern California and UCLA.

At UNC-Chapel Hill, a local television station reported the event included “undocumented, Muslim, black, and Latino students, as well as members of the LGBT community.” They want a meeting with UNC system president Margaret Spellings so she “can create protections for students against Trump polices that could impact their well-being.”

Pro-Trump students fought back at Southern Illinois University by wearing “Make America Great Again” hats and yelling back at protesters in a walkout that included cheers of “F— Trump,” according to The Southern Illinoisan.

“Mostly I just thought it’d be funny, to be honest,” SIU junior Thomas Birch told the newspaper, which added that Birch was holding a sign reading “I used to doubt global warming, until Trump won. Now I see all the snowflakes melting!”

Walkouts and protests weren’t the only form of resistance on college campuses to Friday’s inauguration. More than 30 teach-ins were held at UC Berkeley to protest Trump. The events were organized by UAW Local 2865, a union representing UC student workers.

Ohio State University offered students a “safe space,” which included a screening of the inauguration, a room to allow attendees to “pause, reflect and share,” teach-ins, poetry reading workshops, and a community mural art project.

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About the Author
Nathan Rubbelke served as a staff reporter for The College Fix with a specialty on investigative and enterprise reporting from 2017 to 2018. He has also held editorial positions at The Commercial Review daily newspaper in Portland, Indiana, as well as at The Washington Examiner, Red Alert Politics and St. Louis Public Radio. Rubbelke graduated from Saint Louis University, where he majored in political science and sociology.