By Rachael Yadlowsky – Collegiate Staff
About 1,200 took to the streets of downtown Grand Rapids Thursday night to protest the election of Donald Trump.
The protest started small at Rosa Parks Circle with a group of protesters holding anti-Trump signs and chanting “not my president.” As it started to get darker, the crowd grew and some started marching in a circle and chanting.
Soon protesters gathered on the stage and about ten speakers voiced their discontent with Trump.
The speakers told the crowd why Trump shouldn’t be president of the United States. Some told of their own stories about family members being deported or being judged for being homosexual or transgender. One speaker asked for 30 seconds of silence before chanting “rise up” to which the crowd replied with “fight back.”
“I’m here because I don’t believe that hate can win,” said Sierra Olejniczak, 17, of Rockford. “I believe in love, I believe in acceptance.”
Protesters eagerly went to the streets with a shout of “let’s hit the streets.” Protesters marched through the streets of downtown, blocking off most traffic.
“I’m here because I care about my future,” said Samantha Parable, 16, of East Lansing.
The protestors marched across downtown for over an hour chanting and gaining followers. The protesters continued down Ottawa Street and onto Division Avenue.
Police cars blocked traffic as they walked, many people in their cars were filming the march and giving the protesters high fives and encouraging them. Spectators in buildings waved and threw peace signs and filmed as the mass of people marched past.
“I think that it’s good that the community is coming together out here,” said Johnny Hibor, 14, of Grand Rapids.
Nathan Bidwell contributed to this report.