Clad in rain gear and armed with umbrellas, hundreds of Berkeley students, staff and community members braved the stormy weather to come together today on Sproul Plaza to join in solidarity and protest the inauguration of Republican Donald Trump as president.
“Today I feel ashamed to be an American,” said a young Muslim American student to the crowd. “I will not be silenced by hate. I will not be brought down… I will spread as much love as my soul can hold.”
Among the student booths set up on Sproul was a pro-Trump group wearing hats and t-shirts saying “Make America Great Again.”
Dozens of teach-ins and workshops, organized by the Student Workers Union, were held as alternatives to class around the UC Berkeley campus to address a variety of issues expected to surface over the next four years, from navigating difficult conversations to confronting white supremacy to fighting against Trump, capitalism and the two-party system.
Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion Na’ilah Nasir moderated a panel of faculty from a range of disciplines, including law professor and interim dean Melissa Murray and director of the Haas Institute of a Fair and Inclusive Society john powell, to explore how the country’s new leadership will impact the campus’s work as scholars, teachers, thinkers and members of the academic community.
Across campus, spaces were set up for students to relax, and to discuss how to form a united resistance and continue to create an inclusive campus for people from all backgrounds. Some faculty held special lectures on issues such as how to detect bogus claims and how national policy on violence against women could change with the new administration.