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Impromptu Student Protest Rallies Against Trump Victory

Impromptu Student Protest Rallies Against Trump Victory
Nearly 500 students gathered at Storke Plaza following the elections to protest Donald Trump's election. (Photo by Mark Lasa/Staff Photographer)

Gwendolyn Wu
Executive Content Editor

UPDATE Nov. 9, 4:37 a.m.: A second anti-Donald Trump rally has been planned for noon on Wednesday at Storke Tower.

ORIGINAL published Nov. 9, 3:31 a.m.:
Hundreds of students gathered at the University of California, Santa Barbara and marched through campus and Isla Vista Tuesday night after news outlets announced that Republican Donald Trump won the 2016 United States presidential election.

Organizers carrying the Mexican national flag led the march down the campus bike paths and through Pardall Tunnel, looping around Isla Vista on Embarcadero del Norte, Del Playa Drive, Camino Pescadero, and back through Pardall Road to Storke Plaza. The protest was peaceful, with many students expressing a variety of concerns about what the election meant to them.

“People in this community are LGBTQ, are black, are Muslim, are all these things that make America what it is today,” said Reign Imani, a third year public relations major at Santa Barbara City College who participated in the protest. “Honestly, we’re not gonna stand for it. Our voice is gonna be heard.”

Along the way, supporters streamed out of their homes crying “Fuck Donald Trump” and “Not my president” as they marched down the street. Students reported hearing the chants from campus through their windows. Several protesters carried a large speaker blasting “Fuck Donald Trump” by rapper YG, who performed at UCSB’s Delirium concert during Halloween weekend.

Inspired by the spirited tone of the march, speakers expressed pride in UCSB students for coming together.

“I am not only disgusted and appalled that this many people came together to elect this man, I am awed and I am proud that we all came together,” one speaker said via megaphone. “We need to come together to get a bigger group of people to fight against [Trump.]”

Approximately 9,208 people voted in the UCSB and I.V. precincts according to unofficial election results from County of Santa Barbara as of 12:39 a.m. The majority cast their ballots for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

Students left their houses and apartments in Isla Vista to join the movement, which originated from campus. (Photo by Mark Lasa/Staff Photographer)
Students left their houses and apartments in Isla Vista to join the movement, which originated from campus. (Photo by Mark Lasa/Staff Photographer)

The protest attracted a handful of Trump supporters and other hecklers, some of whom gathered below Storke Tower and exchanged words with protesters. One verbal altercation broke out between the Trump supporters and UCSB student Kristen Armellini, while UCPD Community Service Officers kept watch in the back.

Armellini, a second year history of public policy major, said that the Trump supporters “were being antagonistic.”

“It was really bothering me because it wasn’t a laughing matter and it’s important to call them out,” Armellini said. In response to Trump’s election, she said, “I’m literally fearing for my life right now.”

One Trump supporter involved in the altercation, who preferred to remain anonymous, said, “I think it’s ironic that they tell us we can’t yell anything when they’ve been yelling all night.”

Another counter-protester, Richard Behiel, hoisted a U.S. national flag among the crowd of students. He said he was “adamant” in attending the protest because the students were carrying “only … Mexican flags.” Behiel, a first-year graduate student in the materials department, said his hat was stolen off his head during the march.

“The American people have spoken and Trump won by a commanding majority,” Behiel said. “We’ve got to move on, we’ve got to unite as a country.”

The focus of the march, however, was on the speakers gathered at the base of Storke Tower.

“The reason he became president is because we didn’t do this before,” one speaker said. “We cannot lose this passion in two weeks when we get to our daily lives. This is something that we have to fight for until something changes.”

Despite many students expressing despondent social media reactions and disbelief at election results, it appears that many are looking to the American people for what’s next.

“We have to show them from the beginning,” another speaker said. “Everybody has to group together. We have to think of ideas and think of how we’re going to change this. I’m not about to live four more years with Donald Trump as president. I’m not about to do that.”

Madeleine Lee and Shomik Mukherjee contributed to this article.


  1. I can’t help thinking that if Clinton had won, Trump supporters wouldn’t be carrying on and crying like babies because they didn’t get their way. If they (Trump voters) did, they’d just be told to get over it and respect the fact that they simply weren’t a part of the majority. Still, i can’t help but wonder if everybody that attended the protest rallies were handed ribbons for showing up. What is wrong with people today?!

    • Fighting for justice doesn’t mean crying like babies. Fighting for the basic human right to feel safe and be a minority is a reality for so many, even more so now. It’s not about Democrats vs. Republicans. It’s about speaking out against a rapist, a racist, a bigot in power as the future president of the United States. If Clinton had won, we as marginalized minorities would not face as much fear and uncertainty. In a time of oppression, if we are silent, we take the side of the oppressor. And we are protesting because we don’t want to remain silent. We’re making our voices heard.

  2. If Hillary had won, the Trumpies would be engaging in violence, in Isla Vista and all over the U.S. Their leader encouraged them to do this.

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