Ohio University students left class Friday at noon to participate in a walkout to the Athens Courthouse to protest the inauguration of President Donald Trump.
Although protestors came to the rally for a variety of reasons, they stood together in their opposition to Trump’s policies.
Hayley Michelle, a junior studying playwriting, said she hoped the walkout would show that “our campus and our students and our individuals who go here are not going to accept this unacceptable act of politics.”
“I decided to walk out today because I refuse to stand for what’s going on in our country,” Michelle said. “I think that the person who was elected, who’s a fraud, is a sexual harasser (and) is not fit for office.”
During the rally, many students could be heard yelling chants such as, “The people united will never be defeated” and “Brick by brick, wall by wall, we will make the system fall.”
The protest was met with opposition from the Trump’s supporters. Junior Tommy Russ explained that he came to the rally to because he “thought it was going to be a funny statement.”
“He’s going to be our president no matter what,” Russ said.
While the protests were getting heated, so were the spectators. People shouted “Go Trump,” honked and waved at one side and conversed with students on their opinions. One spectator brought a poster with the words “Legalize Ranch” printed on it.
“I think it’s a lot of maturity and ignorance, probably some on both parts,” passerby Steve Todd said. “I think in particular, this group (of protesters), if it’s not their way, they just want to hate.”
While many students were focused on the protest, delfin bautista,* director of the LGBT community, brought candy to pass out to students during the rally, citing the need for inclusion.
“We need to be in conversation,” bautista said.”Just like they have stereotypes about us, we have stereotypes about them. We really need to be in this together.”
*Editor’s note: *bautista uses they/them/their pronouns and does not capitalize their name.