By Kalina Newman and Ezgi Toper
Police said about 4,500 protesters gathered at the Protest Trump in Boston rally at the Boston Common Wednesday evening in retaliation against Republican Donald Trump’s presidential election win.
Many attendees held signs, reading “Love Trumps Hate” and “Make America Love Again” and bore American flags.
Hosted by Boston Socialist Students, Boston Movement for the 99% and the Boston Socialist Alternative, the protest started with several speeches under the rotunda on the Common and proceeded into a march to Copley Square.
— Kalina Newman (@kaleenex) November 9, 2016
Elan Axelbank, a leader of Boston Social Students and head organizer of the protest, said while the protest would be a major event in Boston’s history, it would also be a peaceful one.
“Donald Trump got elected last night and he’s putting forward a right-wing, racist agenda, and we need to stand firmly against that,” Axelbank told The Daily Free Press before the rally began. “The most effective way to do that is building powerful movements.”
Before the crowd, which continued to grow throughout the rally and march, Axelbank said the election bears much significance.
“Here’s the plan for tonight, this is one of the biggest actions in Boston in years, no doubt about it,” Axelbank said. “There are a lot of police but this is a peaceful rally. There are parents here, there are children here.”
The crowd cheered over him, yelling “Not my president” and raising their fists.
Crowd gets to Copley, “Not My President.” pic.twitter.com/nvf3hpzLrG
— Kalina Newman (@kaleenex) November 10, 2016
Sabrina Barroso, founder of Revere Immigrant Support for Education, said before the crowd that she wants to represent immigrants who are afraid of the election results.
“I am here tonight to fight,” Barroso, 18, said. “I am here for undocumented youths … I am not satisfied. I am not impressed with this election. I do not feel safe right now.”
After Barroso, Barbara Fisher, a fast food worker, stood in front of the crowd and said she was frustrated with the treatment of minimum wage workers.
“I work at Dunkin Donuts for $11 an hour,” Fisher said. “I wake up at 6 a.m. and get back from work at 8 p.m. only to do it all over again. This election affects my family, it affects everyone’s family. It affects my children and my grandchildren.”
As Fisher wrapped up, crowds cheered “No Trump, no KKK, no more fascist USA!”
Along the march, the Boston Police Department had roads blocked off and stood in groups calmly to the side. An officer said there were no signs of violence.
Boston’s Rally Against Trump is marching down from Boston Commons to Copley right now pic.twitter.com/7dL4h9D70f
— Ezgi Toper (@TurkeyTalks) November 10, 2016
Residents and workers in Copley stood in their windows and outside their buildings, some waving while others took photos.
As soon as one protester would start a chant, dozens of people around them would follow. Some notable chants included, “Build a wall around the White House,” and “Hey, ho, Donald Trump has got to go.”
Rally ending. Cops reported no violence. #BostonTrumpProtest
— Kalina Newman (@kaleenex) November 10, 2016
During the rally, several attendees said they are unsatisfied with the results of the election, and expressed the importance of attending the rally.
Herby Duverne, 47, of Woburn, said he immigrated to the United States 27 years ago, and came to the rally to stand “against bigotry, hatred and sexism.”
“It’s scary just to think about what America is going to be,” he said. “The people running the country will see that we do not stand for this thing.”
Duverne, who brought his 9-year-old son, said he went to the rally in order to be a role model of “the right things to do.”
“He’s got school tomorrow but I wanted him to be here for a few minutes,” he said, “so he can see Daddy is doing this, so when it’s his time he can stand up to bigotry as well.”
Balash Salamatbakhsh, 49, of Randolph, said he was “shocked to see Trump won this morning” and feared his inhumane and brutal ways.
“[Trump] is not a man of diversity,” he said. “He is not a man of multilingualism. He is not a man of tolerance and acceptance. If you had a spectrum of culture, he would fall on the ethnocentrism part of it and of course his supporters as well.”
Bill Lewis, 64, of Cambridge, said he came to the rally to support the country’s mutual problems and to think about everyone’s future.
“We’re just going to keep doing what we usually do,” he said, “getting in the way of the oppressive elements of our society.”