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Western Washington University students take to downtown Bellingham to denounce Trump

Western Washington University students chant 'not my president' during march in downtown Bellingham

Western Washington University students march south on East Chestnut Street onto State Street in Bellingham Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, protesting the election of Donald Trump as President.
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Western Washington University students march south on East Chestnut Street onto State Street in Bellingham Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, protesting the election of Donald Trump as President.

Western Washington University students on Wednesday decried the election of Donald Trump, leading a march from campus to downtown and back.

The protest began at Red Square, where, by about 1:20 p.m., about 30 people had gathered in the fountain. The gathering remained mostly silent at first as protesters held cardboard signs. Some messages were simple – “Love” – while others were profane: “(Expletive) Donald Trump.” Several signs declared Trump “Not my president.”

The group in the fountain swelled to nearly double in about a half hour as onlookers took photos.

By 3 p.m., the group – at least 85 people according to an early count from video taken at the scene – had taken to the streets, first walking northeast along High Street, then eventually turning left and walking northwest on Holly Street. Their chants echoed many of the signs they carried and the group was met with supportive honks from passing drivers. Onlookers stepped out from downtown storefronts to watch the marchers pass.

From Holly, their route covered many downtown thoroughfares, including Railroad Avenue, and Bay, State and Chestnut streets. The group kept to sidewalks, blocking traffic only briefly to cross, sometimes against red lights.

Marchers doubled over their route at several points before stopping briefly outside the Federal Building at Cornwall Avenue and West Magnolia Street. There, Erin Szabo, 18, stood on a planter outside the building and roused the group with another chant before yelling, “Red Square!” The group then walked back to campus as the chants continued.

“We’re here chanting about our rights – about our women, LGBT, immigrant, minority rights – because Trump has made a lot of statements undermining those rights for us,” Szabo said later from Red Square.

Other students, such as Brennan Kichline, 18, agreed.

“Just the fact that Trump has won the presidency makes me feel very uncertain, very angry and very scared about my future as well as for other people of other minorities, whether it be color, religion, anything, really,” Kichline said.

The group returned to the fountain, where Szabo led several more chants, which faded before the group cheered one last time and began to disperse by about 4:15 p.m.

Kyle Mittan: 360-756-2803, @KyleMittan

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