Elections spark student protest

Some protesters held signs, ranging from Black Lives Matter signs to handwritten ‘Free Hugs’ signs. McKenna Dosier/The News

Story by Emily Williams, Contributing writer

Approximately 30 Murray State students drew a crowd to Waterfield Library Wednesday morning by implementing a peaceful protest in response to the 2016 presidential election results in an effort to advocate for individual rights.

Cole Lawrence, senior from Benton, Kentucky, said he organized the protest because he believes many of the people who voted for Trump did so with the hope of taking away LGBT rights, women’s rights and the rights of African-Americans.

“We’re just speaking up because everybody who ever stayed silent in the face of something like this is how every big disaster in history has ever happened,” Lawrence said. “I’m not going to scream at anybody. If somebody wants to come out here and scream at me, they can. I’m just going to stand out here and spread equality and not hate.”

Lawrence said the group gathered as a result of his post on Facebook and that they are not affiliated with any organization at Murray State.

Campus police were present on the scene of the protest while students held signs that said “Queer and absolutely proud,” “You don’t get to vote for my rights,”  “Black lives matter,” and “Pro-choice. Pro-women. Pro-freedom.”

Jessi Moffett, senior from Louisville, Kentucky, said she came to the protest for her gay friends who believe they are a minority and  are scared because of the results of the election.

“I’m here because I had to hold my friends last night while they cried because they were scared to walk across campus at night because they’re gay,” Moffett said. “Even though I would like to be angry and hate, I’m not going to.”

According to an article posted by The New York Times, many more anti-Trump protests have been sweeping the nation since Donald Trump was named president-elect early Wednesday morning. It says several hundred protesters gathered and chanted “Not my president” in the streets of Berkeley, California. Other protests were reported in Seattle and Portland, Oregon.

Derek Unterreiner, junior from Perryville, Missouri, stood in the crowd of bystanders gathered around the protesters. He said he thinks it’s good that people are voicing their opinion.

“They’re going to support what they support and that’s fine,” Unterreiner said. “But I casted my vote for who I casted my vote for and they casted their vote for who they casted their vote for. We’re all human. That’s the heart of things.”

Unterreiner said he believes life will go on and America will be fine.

Malcolm Jones, senior from Louisville, Kentucky said he believes this year’s election is a turning point for this generation he believes it goes against what we believe as a country to elect someone who believes in sexism and homophobia.

“I guess you could say half of this generation probably supports the ideas that Trump promotes or are at least in the closet about it and the other half are probably against it,” Jones said. “I’m respecting people’s right to vote and people’s opinions but the one thing I don’t respect are people’s opinions that disrespect so many other people,” Jones said.

Jones said love will always trump hate.