The sky was grey as scores of students at the University of New Mexico gathered today to protest the inauguration of President Donald Trump. Speakers took turns at a microphone, promising scrutiny and resistance to his administration. A handful of patriotic pro-Trump students turned up, too.
Folk duo A Hawk and a Hacksaw played on the steps as the crowd gathered at UNM. Near the end of the protest, drummers performed and Native students led all the demonstrators to join hands and dance in a moment of unity. KUNM's Marisa Demarco and Sarah Trujillo talked to protesters and Trump supporters.
Beth Kaimowitz - I’m staff and alumni at UNM and I’m here because I consider this day to be a national day of mourning. I feel like this presidency is going to set the country back about 50 years and I think it’s important that the president know that we are going to resist him every step of the way. My hopes are that people will realize that they can’t be complacent, they can’t stay at home, that their rights and their friends are in danger and they will come out together. I’ve seen a lot of that already.
Dominic Gonzalez - This election has been very troubling for me. I’m upset with Donald Trump. I don’t like him so I came to protest and show solidarity for those that might be affected by his four years in office. Everyone knows someone who could be negatively impacted. Everyone knows women. Everyone knows people of color, Muslim people, and they all have things to lose by this man in power. I’m skeptical that he’ll be good.
Eduardo Esquivel - I’m here today to represent the undocumented and refugee community, here to stand in unity with everybody who stands for progressive values and against hate and bigotry and the mess that is going on right now in the American political system. More than anything, I’m hopeful that this is going to be a catalyst for unity between all oppressed groups. We’re going to stand strong and fight for our rights and get the respect we deserve.
Deandra Durham - My fears are that hate will be perpetuated and that people will be more vocal and more willing to act on their hate and their fears. What he’s done so far is he is dividing African American communities by trying to pit certain political figures against each other. He’s creating division so at this point, I don’t think he can be salvaged.
Dillon Romero - I’m concerned about sustainability. The people that he’s picking are definitely strongly against sustainability and often deniers of climate change and that’s really terrifying.
Fernando Rios - I’m here today because I support the president of the United States of America and I’m hoping to make America great again. I disagree with most of his policies. I think, actually more than anything, I support him just because I am an American and he is the president of the United States of America and I think it’s our civic duty, not necessarily as citizens, to support the president and hope the best for him in his presidency.
Karen Cathey - I’m a community member and I came to support the students. My fears are fueling my compassion to stand up for others. I hope that students, children, people come together and stand up for themselves and for each other because we all need to work in solidarity and compassion.
Alysia Coriz - I’m a secretary at Kiva Club and we’re just here protesting this new racist environment that is being portrayed by Trump’s inauguration and so we’re here saying that we are still here as Indigenous peoples and as Indigenous scholars and saying that we have the right to fight for a safe environment for our students as well as our fellow students of color.
Annie Mitchem - I’m the president of the Black Student Union here at UNM. I hope that everyone can put whatever differences they have aside and come together so that we can take back our country. It’s so important that everyone sticks together right now. We just need love. It’s important, we need love. As black students and how little we are on this campus and already seeing the racial differences that we have on campus, it’s really important that I make sure that my people are safe and that we stand our ground and make sure that no one runs over us and they know that we belong. Like, we’re here, too.