This past weekend, my friend Emilee Meltzer, a junior at Syosset High School, and I took a day trip to the city. We were both aware that protests were springing up across the city in response to the news of Donald Trump winning the election, especially in Midtown, which was where we planned to spend our day. Around noon, while walking through the Union Square Greenmarket, we began to see thousands of protesters, along with a heavy police presence.
Neither of us planned to join the demonstration, but as supporters of Hillary Clinton in this past election, the opportunity presented itself and we jumped in. We decided to walk with the protesters down Broadway and while walking, it was abundantly clear how many people in our country were in total shock and how angered some became from it. Thankfully, from what I witnessed, this protest was peaceful, and I myself didn’t witness any physical altercations among citizens or with the police.
While walking, reading the signs of the demonstrators, and listening to their chants, I couldn’t help the goosebumps forming on my arms. The sheer concern these people felt about one of the most surprising election wins in history was evident in their massive numbers. Never before had there been protests of this magnitude in the United States due to results of a presidential race.
Also shocking was the diversity of these protesters. Obviously there was a majority of white and black millennials, many young enough that this was likely the first or second election as voters, but also a strong presence of middle aged, white, Generation X adults. This was particularly shocking considering the majority of voters for Donald Trump were in that white, middle-aged demographic. But, considering Manhattan is one of the more liberal cities in the United States, and the home of Trump Towers, it makes sense for it to be a popular spot for protesters who are natives of the city and those who have come from all over the northeast region solely to voice their concern to flock to the streets.
I am not old enough to vote. Many of those protesting looked younger as well, and I saw many children walking with their parents and holding signs criticizing Trump, and some of the sexist, hateful, xenophobic comments he has said over the course of this election cycle. The evident youth in the crowd gave me hope. I believe that the increasingly leftist views of America’s youth will soon trump the conservative, traditional views of the aging majority that voted for President-Elect Trump.