Yesterday, November 9th, thousands of angry citizens gathered around the base of the Trump Tower in downtown Chicago. This protest grew, resulting in crying protesters marching through the city. This attracted enough people to stop traffic throughout the downtown area and on Lakeshore Drive. With powerful words on signs bobbing above tear-stained faces, this event was incredibly moving and attracted attention from the Chicago Tribune, USA Today and NBC Chicago.
Inspiring chants erupted through the crowd, addressing issues from Black Lives Matter to women's body image. I arrived at about 5:30 PM when the event was in full swing. Protesters gathered across from the Trump tower, kept on the sidewalk by a line of police. I brought a sign that said "I am not a pussy to grab."
The positive responses I got to this sign were overwhelming. I was met with positive smiles and encouraging comments. Overall, the crowd was very peaceful, as we all wanted the same outcome out of our protesting. My friends and I were immediately swept into the chanting, adding our voices to the 2000 others. Below are a few videos of the chants I shot from the crowd.
There was a large student presence at this event, as I ran into dozens of my classmates. Students from local Chicago schools including Columbia College Chicago, where I attend, Depaul University and Roosevelt University all joined in on the action. Fresh U interviewed a few Columbia students about their opinions on the event.
"It was inspiring to see how many people came together to peacefully stand up for what they believe in. It gave me hope that change is possible. I think millennials need to raise their voices and not be afraid to defend their beliefs." - Amanda Williams, Freshman
"Honestly the protest was overwhelming at first. With all of the tension between the two parties, I expected violence and more of a riot than a protest. But as we marched on for a bit, I found that we were all united by the same peaceful goal. It felt empowering to march with like-minded people unified by our drive for change." - Jackson Dougherty, Freshman
"The experience overall was very emotional. I was surrounded by people who all feel the same: angry and scared. At some points of the protest, I witnessed people just break down into tears. Overall, the atmosphere was full of love. We all have each other and need to stick together in the end. The protest was a reminder that we are not alone in this." - Lizzy Murray, Freshman
It feels good to know I'm not alone... It was already difficult coming here because of the cultural shock and after the election I started to feel afraid of even saying I'm Latin-American. The protest proved to me that there is no reason for that and that the fight is only starting!" - Victor Froidman, Freshman, International Student
After my friends and I called it a night around 10:30, we heard shouts coming from the streets of our campus. On the second route through the city, the protest made its way through our campus. Here is the view from the 8th floor of the University Center on State street.
The response to the election in Chicago was overwhelming, as protests are still going on around the city. I am so grateful to have participated in this event, as I finally felt like my voice was being heard. This is the biggest backlash to a presidential-elect that we've seen in years, and millennials are the driving factor behind the protests. This fight isn't just in Chicago. Across the country, people are standing up to the results of the election, trying to create change. Have you joined the fight? Tweet us @FreshUOnline.
Lead Image Credit: Natalie Day