‘Welcome aboard the boat’

Jake Thompson

Roughly forty people joined together in Chandler Park in downtown Macomb Wednesday evening to discuss their concerns and voice their opinions about President-Elect Donald Tromp.

“I decided to organize a unity rally for people who felt like they were threatened in any way, for those who have been threatened, and those that are afraid that their rights will be taken away, or they will be deported to a country they didn’t even grow up in.” said Tiffany Geer, organizer of the anti-Trump rally. “I thought this was a good way to bring people together and to show they are not alone and that they have support in the community.”

The stage was open to anyone in the crowd, allowing those who are upset with the election results to speak out.

“As a black guy, I can tell you that I am no stranger to prejudice,” said senior Western Illinois University student Marcial Anthony. “I’ve had a couple of instances of it here within my first year, specifically my second semester, there was a lady who lived on my street that told me that my people are a waste of her tax dollars”

Anthony continued by discussing how he sees the election as a manifestation of intolerance and bigotry ingrained in American voters. 

“No one is going to try and convert me to a white person, and nobody is going to try and tell me what I can or can’t do with my body, so I have to let you know, for the homosexuals and for women, I do feel for you,” Anthony said. “I will never truly understand it because I’m male, but I do feel for you. I guess we are in this together. Welcome aboard the boat.”

Several other speakers approached the microphone to talk about their concerns with soon to be President Trump. In between talks, musical instruments were available for everyone to use to create a chant, including phrases such as “We will not be silent,” “We will resists,” and “Not my president,

Holly Stovall, a women studies professor at Western Illinois University, said she joined in on a protest in downtown Chicago last weekend.

“What my daughter and I did was jump right in and the people behind us had signs saying Latinas against Trump, LGBTQ against Trump,” Stovall said. “There were signs about the environment. There were signs for Black Lives Matter.”

Stovall also talked about the chants that were used during the rally.

“Some men would start chanting ‘their bodies, their choice,’” Stovall said. “The women would come in ‘our bodies, our choice’. There were other chants about immigrants are welcome here.”

According to Stovall, she wanted to give that same experience that she had in Chicago to students and community members in Macomb, and that the time to stand up to intolerance is now.

“What I found was that this march was about the whole revolution,” Stovall said. “That’s really the message that I want to carry today is that we cannot do this in parts. We have to demand resolution, and if it takes Donald Trump to do that, well then that’s how we will take advantage of his presidency.”