Students From 3 Campuses Converge at Federal Building
By Frank Gormlie / The OB Rag
On Wednesday, November 16th, upwards of 500 San Diego high school and college students staged walk-outs at their campuses in protests against the election of Donald Trump. They marched and blocked intersections, and then converged from their different schools in downtown San Diego.
Around 10 am, the first demonstration began near San Diego City College, and by 11:15 the crowd – mostly from San Diego High School and the College had swelled to 300 to 500 people, according to police and participant estimates, and they marched onto Park Avenue and other streets. Reportedly, the march was planned by students at City College with spreading including Wednesday morning via social media.
After taking over a few intersections, the demonstrators marched to the area of Horton Plaza and the federal building in downtown San Diego. The mixed crowd chanted and held signs, such as, “Students Against Bigotry,” “We’re Not Trump’s Nation,” “Make Racists Afraid Again”. Representatives of the ACLU and the American Friends Service Committee were involved.
As the demonstrators crowded at the federal building, several speakers addressed the crowd from a bullhorn. One of the speakers was Kelly Mayhew, a San Diego City College English professor, who stated:
“You are all our future. You deserved so much more than this election gave you. It’s up to you to change things.”
Meanwhile, over at Lincoln High School things were also happening. At around the same time as the march from City College, an estimated 50 to 60 students left the high school on Imperial Avenue and marched into the streets – as part of the nation-wide student-led protests against Trump.
The protest moved west on Imperial, with chants, “The people united will never be divided,”and signs and two Mexican flags. Lincoln High Principal Shirley Peterson had attempted to keep the students on campus by opening up the school theater as a free-speech space. She told the press:
“We support students having free speech. A lot of teachers took an opportunity to talk to students about the protest and what it would accomplish. But we are also concerned about student safety.”
Absent students will be marked absent, according to district officials.
Eventually – after a distance of around 5 miles – the Lincoln High students merged with the on-going protest near the federal building. Now united, the groups marched east on Broadway, and ended up back at City College.
About 1 p.m., the two groups, now united, proceeded eastward along Broadway, headed back toward San Diego. The rally continued until sometime between 1:30 and 3pm.
Overall, the protests were militant and peaceful. One man was detained and arrested for assault on a police officer and resisting arrest after a small crowd had gathered around police as they cited another man, chanting to let him go. The suspect reported hit an officer and ran away, but was apprehended.
Another ruckus occurred over at City College when 2 Trump supporters got into yelling matches with protesters. Also, a participant was cited for spitting on someone.
Yet 500 students had joined the nation-wide campaign against Trump’s policies.
Ciera Coronado, a 21-year-old student at San Diego City College, told the U-T:
“We have to protest this election. Too many people voted for racism and bigotry, and now they are supporting a man who is full of empty promises. It is up to us to do this. Otherwise, we will lose a lot of our future.”
Nearby, 15-year-old Theresa Rodriguez from San Diego High said:
“I’m here to support the LGBTQ community. I don’t support Trump’s policies, and I’m here to show love.”