CHAMPAIGN — Organizers say a demonstration against the election of Donald Trump that broke out Friday on the University of Illinois campus was fueled by a desire to protest the past and spur momentum for future change.
A group of students and other UI-affiliated people marched from the Alma Mater to the Quad before walking down Green Street and stopping back at the statue. Their chants complemented signs reading "Love Trumps hate," "Immigrants make America great," "Borders kill," Women's rights are human rights" and "Silence condones oppression."
UI student Tyler Dolan said the Mexican Student Association, a Facebook event and general word of mouth helped spread plans for Friday's protest. It was the second organized Trump protest on campus since his election Tuesday.
Of his feelings about election night, Dolan said: "It was unusual — extra dark."
Out of those dark feelings came a push to sup- port those targeted dur- ing Trump's campaign, including Hispanics, Muslims, immigrants and the LGBTQ community. Student Michelle Martinez said she wanted the protest to be a place for poor and minority groups to come together.
Champaign County, led by the Champaign-Urbana area, went blue on election night, with 49,694 votes for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and 33,235 for Trump. Nearby Douglas, Ford, Piatt and Vermilion counties all favored Trump.
"Protests like these shouldn't quell desire for change — it should spark it," student Maryam Sultan said.
Fellow student Dunia Ghanimah chimed in, saying, "It doesn't stop here."
They said participation in groups like Students for Justice in Palestine and United Muslim and Minority Advocates is a start for creating that change.
Karen Olowu, a member of Black Students for Revolution, said she hopes the protest inspires radical thought.
"I had a desire for release and a need to communicate about the reality of the current situation," Olowu said about her motivation to join the protest.
To wrap the event up, Olowu led the crowd in a call and response, including the phrases "It is our duty to fight for our freedom" and "We must love and protect each other."
That was followed by several hugs and embraces before the crowd dispersed.