Anti-Trump protest of hundreds marches through Boulder and CU, blocks highway traffic

Update: This story has been updated to reflect a witness’s account that a Muslim-American woman who said she was punched was not.

About 1,000 CU-Boulder students, Boulder residents and others marched through Boulder to protest the election of President-Elect Donald Trump Thursday night.

“Not My President,” “I’m a Nasty Woman,” “No Trump No Sexism” and “Pussy Grabs Back” were among the messages written on the group’s signs. “No Trump, no KKK, no racist USA,” “Yes we do” and “Black lives matter” were among the chants.

But the standout, and main, chant was a call-and-response: “Show me what democracy looks like!” “This is what democracy looks like!”

This protest comes just a day after Boulder High School students marched against Trump’s victory, and protests took place nationwide on Wednesday. Thousands marched in Denver at the same time. The Boulder High protest inspired this one, said Aidan Cook, Direct Action Everywhere activist and CU student.

At 6:30 p.m., protestors gathered at the Boulder Municipal Court as a mass of mostly college-aged Boulder citizens chanting messages of anger over Trump’s election. Marching through the city and CU campus, the protest blocked traffic on Broadway, Baseline Road, 28th Street, Colorado Avenue, Folsom Street, Canyon Boulevard and most notably U.S. Highway 36. The group walked up the southbound entry ramp at Baseline Road, walked across to the northbound side and moved to block traffic on northbound 28th Street by about 9 p.m.

Someone with a Trump-Pence sign held it up toward the protestors as they blocked traffic on 28th Street at about 9:23 p.m., which drew the group off the northbound side of the street toward him. They chanted “Fuck Trump’s hate!” and continued toward Colorado Avenue.

Honking horns and backed-up traffic behind them, the group rolled down the street to route through the northwest part of the CU campus. Protestors chanted “Thank you police! Thank you police!” as Boulder Police Department officers blocked traffic along Colorado Avenue and Canyon Boulevard to let them pass through safely. A few passing cars honked in support; a few more presented raised middle fingers and pro-Trump shouts.

The protest was intended to be peaceful at the start and largely remained that way, but one Muslim-American female from Mesa High School in Longmont said she was punched in the face after she picked up a Trump supporter’s sign and tried to rip it at about 9:30 p.m. Another person had knocked it out of the male supporter’s hands, she said.

She said the male also grabbed her hijab, but she grabbed it back. The girl, Ons Abdul Majeed Hammad, said she came to the protest with three friends after one heard about it through CU’s UMAS y MEXA de CU-Boulder Latino student group. Hammad said she and the male were interviewed by Boulder police.

Austin Braun, a student who said he witnessed the incident, said Hammad did try to rip the sign. But Braun said he did not see the male grab Hammad’s hijab or hit her. Braun said he was interviewed with police along with the male and Hammad. He also said that police said Hammad gave them vague information during the interview.

The group rolled down Folsom Street to Canyon Boulevard, where another police blockade allowed it to continue. Protestors blocked traffic on both sides of that street as they continued west, with a handful of Trump supporters, including a male with a Trump-Pence sign who said he was not involved in any altercation, walking near the back. Though many protestors left before the group entered the highway, it still stretched over a block’s length on Canyon Boulevard.

“I’m here because I’m trans[gender] — I’m nonbinary,” said Nate Huey, a CU student who joined the protest at the court house at 7 p.m. “And I’m afraid I’m not going to have rights for a long time.”

Stuart Alex Elnagdy, a CU junior who works with Muslim activist student group Project Nur, observed the protest from the edge of campus at 28th Street.

“Since we heard the election results, I’ve been holding many of my friends who cried, who were Latino,” Elnagdy said. “And this is the most secure they’ve felt.”

The protest returned up Broadway and Pearl Street Mall to the court house at about 10:10 p.m., where the group, now less than 500, gathered around Cook and other leaders.

“Everyone in this country: Let’s spread the love,” Cook said through a megaphone. Another activist before him told the crowd that it has a “two-month head start” before Trump can begin making policy, and urged them to push for policies in Boulder that make it “safe,” and “a place known for standing up.” Cook told the CUI afterward that he wants to make Boulder a sanctuary city for undocumented immigrants.

Cook said he reached out for the protest by networking over Facebook with CU’s Black Student Alliance, Gender Justice League, Caribbean Student Alliance and Gay-Straight Alliance student groups.

An activist said there will be another protest starting at the court house at 1 p.m. Saturday, and Cook said there will be an “emergency planning meeting” Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the University Memorial Center fountain on the CU campus.

Contact CU Independent Editorial Manager Ellis Arnold at ellis.arnold@colorado.edu, and on Twitter @ArnoldEllis_.

Contact CU Independent Photographer and News Reporter Jackson Barnett at jackson.barnett@colorado.edu.

Ellis Arnold

Ellis Arnold is the CUI's editor-in-chief and a journalism and political science student. He writes about diversity issues, politics, student government, music and (sometimes) life advice. Is he qualified to do that? You'll never know. He's a senior from Aurora, Colorado, who's been with the CUI for eight semesters.

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