WASHINGTON: Hundreds of students in Washington ditched school Tuesday to protest against US President-elect Donald Trump, marching through the heart of the US capital before descending on the White House.
They joined youth across the country who have staged similar walkouts since Trump’s shock victory on November 8, carrying signs with messages like “spread love,” “my black is beautiful” and “make America gay again.” The young protesters marched across the Mall, the grassy esplanade that runs from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial.
Anna, a 17-year-old immigrant from El Salvador, said she was “uncertain about my future.” “I’m worried that when this man gets into office we won’t be safe on the streets anymore.” Trump has pledged to end Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy protecting youth like Anna who arrived in the country illegally as children. But the president-elect has not indicated whether ending the program would result in the deportation of those already enrolled.
“Even if we don’t make a difference, we’ll know that we fought to the end,” she said.
Wearing a shirt with the phrase “Nasty Woman”-a nod to Trump’s “such a nasty woman” dig aimed at Clinton during the final presidential debate-Nell called Trump “an extremely dangerous man in an extremely powerful position.” “There’s so much anger and frustration because it’s not fair-almost everyone here who’s protesting can’t vote,” the 13-year-old said. “This is their way of showing that there needs to be a change and that things aren’t right.”
‘Get out of my swamp’
Eva, 16, said the protests gave hope for the future. “You’re looking at it,” she said, motioning to the hundreds of rallying students as they marched toward the White House, Trump’s future residence. She hoisted a poster that said “Get out of my swamp”-a reference to Trump’s vow to drain Washington of corruption.
She said candidates in the next election need “to do a better job of actually talking to people who are disaffected, who are upset. “There needs to be more work in small towns.” Hundreds of high school students also demonstrated in New York Tuesday morning outside Trump Tower, protesting in the pouring rain as the president-elect huddled inside with Vice president-elect Mike Pence to nail down cabinet appointments. “No Ku Klux Klan, no fascists, no racists” the students shouted in turn, alternating their cries with: “Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here.”
Some in the crowd shouted “My body my choice,” giving voice to concerns about reverses on women’s rights to abortion under Trump, who has vowed to put pro-life justices on the nation’s high court. Trump Tower-where dozens of police stood guard-has been the focus of protests every day since the New York billionaire’s election.-AFP