Trump victory prompts protest downtown


Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump gives a thumbs up to the crowd as he finishes his speech at Dorton Arena Monday, Nov. 7, 2016 in Raleigh N.C. It’s the final day before Election Day. (Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS)

By Hope Carrane

A  protest against president-elect Donald Trump as part of the #notmypresident movement took place at the Fayette County District Courthouse on Saturday night.

The event, which was organized via Facebook by Lexington citizens, drew a crowd of several hundred. There were several speakers and a march through the streets of downtown Lexington.

Annie Baker, a chemistry junior, and Sofia Saderholm, an electrical engineering sophomore, were among the students who found out from either Facebook or word of mouth. 

“I’m glad that it’s happening,” Baker said. “I’m glad it’s where we could go to it.”

Before the protest, Saderholm was concerned about the potential threat of violence.

“I’m a little worried about it because I’ve heard so much about violence from other protests,” Saderholm said.

Despite those worries, students turned out to protest for a variety of reasons, ranging from general dismay to those that effected them personally. While not in agreement, Baker said she could understand why Americans voted the way they did. 

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“It makes me sad, because I’m from Appalachia, as the sign says,” Baker said, holding a sign that said “Appalachians against Trump.” “And I understand why my fellow Appalachians voted Trump, but that just makes me really sad, because they had no other choice just for the simple sake of the short term.”

A main reason why, Baker said, is due to the coal industry. Baker, who is from the Ashland, Kentucky area, a town home to Wayne Supply, a major mechanical supplier for the coal industry, has seen the effects first-hand. 

“The coal industry has ruined (Appalachia), both environmentally and economically, so there’s no choice but to vote for anyone who might give coal a chance,” Baker said. 

For others, like Saderholm, protesting was a question of identity. 

“I myself am non-binary, so I’m under the trans umbrella, and I would kind of not like to be sent to a prison camp,” Saderholm said, referring to vice president-elect Mike Pence’s controversial stance on conversion therapy. 

Baker and Paige Williams, an environmental science sophomore, who identify as queer, agreed. 

“I’m hoping the protest gets noticed … I want people to realize that we care about this stuff, it’s our lives,” Saderholm said.