On Friday morning President Donald Trump was sworn in, and that evening Austin community members and others across the nation marched to protest the incoming administration.
One Resistance, a coalition of advocacy organizations representing minority voices, coordinated the city-wide march from Auditorium Shores, through downtown and back where a rally commenced.
“We will not fall prey to hate and fear,” Lewis Conway of Grassroots Leadership said. “We will resist.”
Thousands of protesters bearing colorful banners and signs filled the park for the march at 5 p.m. and began marching at 6 p.m.
Protesters joined a national outcry against Trump’s rhetoric on the disabled, LBGT groups, women and immigrants, chanting sayings such as “her body her choice” and “he is not my president.”
David Contreras, a marketing sophomore of Mexican descent, said he joined the UT walkout and then the One Resistance march because he feels obligated to protest for everyone.
“This means a lot to me since I identify as one of the many people who are oppressed,” Contreras said. “I wanted to make sure to come out since I'm able to go and have a voice in there and try to make people notice that this is a problem.”
NAACP Austin, Austin Black Lives Matter, Equality Texas which advocates for LBGT rights and Grassroots Leadership, a non profit organization championing immigrants rights, were some organizations present.
Juan Belman, an anthropology sophomore, said his parents bringing him to Austin afforded him a better education.
“We're here to have a better opportunity and that's why we came here without documents,” Belman said.
A flood of UT students gathered at the Tower at noon for an on-campus protest, and some students merged with the One Resistance Rally protesters downtown.
Rhetoric and writing junior Tiffany Braden held a sign that read “This p*ssy grabs back.”
“I feel like [women are] in danger, I feel afraid,” Braden said. “Trump said in one of the debates he said he was going to reevaluate Roe v. Wade, and I don't think that's appropriate. That scares me.”
Elizabeth Haynie, a political communications junior and member of UT College Republicans, said Trump does not discriminate and wants to unite Americans in creating jobs.
“He’s hired people from all different religious and ethnic backgrounds,” Haynie said. “When I look at someone I look at the full picture, I don’t just look at what they’re saying.”
Sophia Toprac, a neuroscience and psychology sophomore, said she feels threatened by Trump’s rhetoric especially as someone who is gay.
“Massive amounts of crowds showing up saying ‘we're going to take care of you, we’re going to take care of you’ … is always nice for me,” Toprac said.
The march stopped at Auditorium Shores at 7:30 p.m., and the rally lasted until 8:30 p.m.
Washington D.C. and New York City citizens took to the streets Thursday and Friday nights. Other major cities including San Francisco and Los Angeles will protest throughout the weekend.
Toprac said some days she feels America will become controlled by hate and fear, but remains optimistic.
“In four years it could look really bad,” Toprac said. “Or magically, miraculously, this could bring us all together.”