Mad River Union
EUREKA/ARCATA – Anti-Trump protesters blocked U.S. Highway 101 in Eureka Thursday night, as about 200 people marched in protest of President-elect Donald Trump. Meanwhile, in Arcata, hundreds filled the Plaza to protest the election results.
“We reject the president-elect,” they chanted in Eureka. “Not my president,” and “Fuck Trump,” they shouted.
As protesters gathered by the Gazebo in Old Town Eureka, people shouted back “Trump” from passing cars. One young man yelled out his window “You’re all gonna get Tasered,” and a lifted truck circled the Plaza revving its engine.
Protesters carried signs criticizing Trump for the allegations of sexual assault against him, his racist rhetoric about Muslims and Mexicans, and the homophobic beliefs of his cabinet choices and Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who was a promoter of gay-conversion “therapy,” a practice, banned in five states, to reorient LGBT people’s identities.
Protester Kirsten Peaches waved a sign saying “Pussy grabs back,” as she marched, a reference to audiotape from 2005 in which Trump described getting away with sexual assaulting women.
“I’m here to stand in solidarity with anyone who feels afraid [of a Trump presidency]” Peaches said.
Peaches said she opposed Trump because he denies climate change, supports anti-LGBT and anti-abortion legislation and has threatened to deport undocumented people.
Rallies against Trump erupted across the country immediately after the election. The crowd in Eureka, small in comparison to the tens of thousands marching in Oakland, Los Angeles or Portland, was still big enough to block traffic on U.S. Highway 101.
There was no sign of pro-Trump counter-protesters who had posted in response on social media earlier that day.
Comments on social media from Trump supporters caused anti-Trump organizers to cancel the rally, but other protesters were undeterred by the hostility.
Protesters marched through traffic up Fourth Street to the Humboldt County Courthouse and blocked northbound traffic. A shouting match erupted as the crowd blocked a truck sporting a Trump sticker. Protesters eventually moved aside and let the truck pass.
One protester, a 49-year-old welder, carpenter and construction worker who declined to be named, said he was worried about Trump’s possible actions as president. “Roe v. Wade being reversed, the privatization of social services, the elimination of civil rights, “ he said. “Everything.”
Renee Saucedo, an attorney, educator and community activist, marched with family, her son Carlo, mother Betty and husband Giancarlo. She said they came out to the rally to declare that the president-elect does not represent them or their community.
“We are here to call on people with morality to resist Trump’s hateful purposes,” she said.
Saucedo said that since the election, she has been receiving calls from many students of color worried about their civil rights and afraid of racist violence as a result of Trump’s election.
“Threats to build a wall and conduct mass deportation heighten fear and lead to human rights abuses,” she said.
Saucedo has been working for years to help create a community group for Latino and indigenous people in Humboldt. The nonprofit organization, Centro del Pueblo, is opening soon in partnership with the Ink People Center for the Arts.
Saucedo said she has hope that community organizers will unite to resist the president-elect’s policies.
“We will not allow anyone to be targeted in our community,” she said.
Protesters in Arcata the following day carried much the same message as the marched from Humboldt State’s Library Circle to the Plaza.
There, several hundred people listened as speakers at McKinley’s feet used a bullhorn to speak of resistance to oligarchy, sexual oppression, racism and social injustice.
A “Love Trumps Hate Community March and Solidarity Vigil" is set for this Saturday, Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. It begins at Northtown Coffee, 1603 G St., and will proceed to the Plaza.