NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Hundreds of protesters spoke out against President-elect Donald Trump in New Haven on Thursday. Protesters also spoke out against racism, hate and the Ku Klux Klan while calling for unity.
Some protesters held “Black Lives Matter” signs; other signs said the protesters were not afraid. The crowd chanted “refugees are welcome here.”
“For me it feels like I’m being a part of history,” said protester Carlos Chaparro.
Organizers spoke to the crowd in English and in Spanish. The grassroots organization Unidad Latina en Acción organized it. The group defends human rights and works with immigrants.
“We know that people outside protesting often get a bad reputation, but we’re fighting for our rights. We’re fighting for what is right,” said Jesus Morales Sanchez, who helped organize the protest.
Group members say they’ve seen more racism since Trump’s presidential campaign started, and that it would have been irresponsible for them not to speak out.
“The diversity is what makes America great. That’s what it’s all about,” said protester Abby Snyder. “To have that jeopardized, to have that threatened, that’s something that I won’t stand for.”
The protesters celebrated diversity and stood by groups like Muslims, the LGBTQ community and African Americans. The group got bigger and bigger, as people heard the cheering and joined in.
“It’s very exciting,” said protester Meredith Brown. “It’s very emotional. I was tearing up earlier. There are people from all different backgrounds and people are screaming and shouting.”
The protesters didn’t stand still. They made their way around downtown New Haven. They then returned to Church Street, where they continued to speak out. They hope the community was listening.
“We need to send a message that we’re going to continue fighting,” said Morales Sanchez. “Even though Mr. Trump won on Tuesday he has not won this battle.”
Protesters are planning on rallying again on Friday at 5:30 p.m. on the New Haven Green.
“I think it’s going to make a difference,” said Brown. “I hope it does.”