Pittsburghers are choosing different paths in their fight against Trump’s presidency | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Pittsburghers are choosing different paths in their fight against Trump’s presidency

“I think we all need to stand in solidarity right now.”

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Unlike many of her comrades, Hannah doesn’t believe Americans should oppose the outcome of the election. 

“I think most people are still happy to be living in a democracy,” says Hannah. “But there’s just this intense fear for people’s safety, and a big part of the protest on Tuesday night was just people who were so angry and needed a place to scream and yell and get out their frustrations.” 

Hannah says protests can serve as an outlet for those who feel like their voices are being drowned out by the Islamophobic, xenophobic, homophobic and other hateful rhetoric she sees coming from Trump and his supporters. And she says it’s important to keep paying attention to these kinds of acts because they disprove Trump supporters who say the president-elect isn’t promoting hate.

“But I also think this is a time we really need to stand together and start protesting as much as we can, tell people we’re not OK with this,” says Hannah. “Keep publicizing these horrible attacks that have been happening around the country against people who are not white men. I think we all need to stand in solidarity right now.” 

And like Greene, Hannah says it’s important to delve into the motivations behind those who voted for Trump because a better understanding of this population can help unify the country.

“We need to start to accept that this is happening and there’s nothing we can do about it,” Hannah says. “Donald Trump is our president and clearly enough people wanted that. So from here on out, we just need to work on informing people and getting better at gauging the needs of people in this country.”

For those looking for other ways to take action in the face of Trump’s presidency, there are plenty of ways to get involved.

Many have urged the public to petition the Electoral College to cast its votes for Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton, because the Democratic presidential nominee won the popular vote.  Others are pushing for the abolishment of the Electoral College altogether. And citing low voter turnout, some are calling for the implementation of early voting nationwide before the next presidential election.

Others are focusing on how to protect marginalized populations they feel have been and will be victimized by Trump and his supporters. Some are contacting local elected officials for aid in the wake of rampant instances of discrimination by Trump supporters. There’s been talk of creating “safe spaces” where immigrants, Muslims, LGBT individuals, women and minorities can feel welcome. And there’s bystander intervention training for people who want to step in when they see discrimination.

“We have to band together to make sure these kinds of hateful acts don’t continue to happen,” protester A.J. Wilson told Pittsburgh City Paper at the Sunday rally Downtown. “Our senators and local officials need to understand that our vulnerable communities need protecting. We need to make sure our elected officials hear us and constantly hear us.”

And many activists are focusing their efforts on planning protests over the next few months. Nationwide, thousands are planning to protest Trump’s inauguration in Washington, D.C.; more than 160,000 have sent RSVPs on Facebook for a women’s march there the following day. 

Says Car Williams, another who attended Sunday’s Pittsburgh rally: “If we just keep protesting and keep making our voices heard, we can have an impact.”


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