Since Donald Trump was elected president, protests of the election results have erupted across the country. That includes Reno, where protesters gathered at Reno City Plaza under the “Believe” sculpture in front of the Truckee River Wednesday night. Over 100 people came to listen, pray and speak to the crowd. It was officially named #RenoEmpathyIsPower by organizers.
“I know it’s been a really difficult 24 hours, and I know some of us had trouble getting out of bed,” organizer Aria Overli said. “We’ve all had trouble thinking about how we are getting to tomorrow, so thank you all for showing up.”
People at the plaza celebrated their culture before the rally started. University of Nevada, Reno, human development and family studies student Taylor Sawyer attended the protest because a friend asked her to after she and Sawyer felt discouraged about the election results.
“My favorite part was before the rally started when two Latin individuals set up a speaker and started dancing the salsa,” Sawyer said. “It was beautiful to see people embracing their culture in response to Trump’s election.”
After Overli spoke and another woman sang a spiritual song, people in the crowd had a chance to share their stories and feelings about Trump’s victory.
April LaLone, a former regional organizing director for the Nevada State Democratic Party, spoke about Nevada’s success in electing Catherine Cortez Masto to the U.S. Senate, but also expressed her disappointment.
“We have to move forward,” LaLone said. “Look around, this is not just Reno. This is across the nation. This is everywhere. This does not end tonight. I am not dealing with the next four years; it is not over for me. This is not my America. I’m not going to stop fighting; we can’t stop fighting. Trump is not my president.”
UNR neuroscience and philosophy student Jax Skye attended the rally with a few friends to make his voice heard against president-elect Trump.
“I wanted to join my friends and other like-minded people who are equally upset about him being elected,” Skye said. “It felt good to know I was making a stand against a man who has said very hateful things about minorities. I felt saddened though, seeing how upset people were and how truly scared my peers are of what is to come for our nation.”
Protests in the country started Tuesday night after Trump was officially announced the president-elect. People in cities such as Oakland and Portland went to the streets to make their outrage known.
More protests followed in over 30 cities and other countries every day since, including states where Trump won the electoral vote. People gathered in cities such as Salt Lake City, Miami, Dallas, Berlin and more.
In New York City, thousands of protesters filled the streets and marched from Union Square to Trump Tower Saturday and Sunday, crying out “Not my president!” according to The New York Times. On the other side of the country in Los Angeles, over 8,000 people who shut down Highway 101 and 128 were arrested by California Highway Patrol officers.
In Portland, protests turned into riots over the course of the week after people threw bottles at police officers, damaged storefronts and smashed cars in the streets. Portland Police tweeted on Sunday that they arrested 71 people after riots ensued Saturday night. They also tweeted Saturday that they used pepper spray and rubber projectiles while trying to control the situation and move the protesters back to Union Square. Oakland Police arrested 11 people after similar riots developed in the city.
Students and teachers in high schools and colleges in cities such as Los Angeles and Omaha have staged walkouts during the school day where they refuse to go to class to show their displeasure of a Trump presidency.
Across the country, there have been reports of racially-motivated attacks and other incidents in the days since Trump’s election. Twitter gathered a collection of tweets describing these attacks under the “Moments” tab. Muslim women tweeted they were afraid to wear their hijab in public because other Muslim women reported attacks in which their hijab were stolen.
In Durham, North Carolina, “Black lives don’t matter and neither does your vote” was spray-painted across a wall on Main Street. A swastika and “Heil Trump” was written on the outside of a church in Brown County, Indiana.
A couple of the attacks were deemed false after officials investigated the claims, but many real attacks were videotaped, photographed and put on social media.
“I am scared for myself and others,” Skye said. “I’ve had many friends in just the past few days since [Trump] was elected be targeted because of their race or gender … I am most fearful of the fact that Trump supporters are using his victory as a reason to spread even more hate and division.”
In an interview with Lesley Stahl during a “60 Minutes” episode on Sunday, Trump said the attacks “saddened” him and asked people to “stop it.”
Americans are starting to wear safety pins on their shirts to signal to people they are safe and willing to help in case an incident like those reported occur. The idea came from a movement spurred in June during Brexit. Others are making donations to Planned Parenthood under vice president-elect Mike Pence’s name, which means he will get a certificate of thanks from the organization. Pence has been vocal about his opposition to Planned Parenthood and abortion services during his years as a public servant.
“Regardless of what people are saying, peaceful protest is not useless or a waste of time or effort,” Skye said. “There is nothing wrong with standing up for what you believe is right and offering support to those now in more danger than before because of their minority status.”
Madeline Purdue can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @madelinepurdue.