VIDEO: Dump Trump rally gives students a chance to share their opinions


Nick Blank

Video by Jack Drain

Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) organized the Dump Trump rally with about 30 students supporting all four candidates coming out to the Green Tuesday to have their viewpoints heard.

Members of SDS stood on a pillar outside the Fine Arts Center to decry Republican nominee Donald Trump’s suggestive statements about women and attitudes toward minorities.

“He’s spread out a lot of harmful ideas,” said Aitana Arguedas. “His rhetoric against mexicans and muslims have encouraged people to harass people in these communities.”

“Donald Trump represents a special danger to women, the LGBTQ community, black people, Latino people, immigrants, muslims,” said Francisco Figueroa. “We’re opposed to his backwards policies, we’re opposed to everything he represents and the evil he’s brought out.

Hillary Clinton didn’t escape criticism from speakers on issues like the  Dakota Access pipeline and her comment in 1996 referring to some African-Americans youth as “super predators.”

“You have Donald Trump, who I feel is an overt racist, but then you have Hillary Clinton who I think is a behind-the-scenes racist,” said Andre Cook. “She apologized for it [the super predators comment] but to me that doesn’t change her ideological positions.”

Ryan McClure organized the rally. UNF’s branch of Students for a Democratic Society — a national progressive student movement — was created this semester. McClure said the club hopes to bring a wave of activism to UNF.

“Just because we’re in the deep south and it might be a little backwards, it’s not always like that,” McClure said. “There are people coming together, trying to start a movement to show that a better world is worth fighting for. ”

A handful of Trump supporters stood to the side of the rally, holding signs. Matthew Drysdale is a senior civil engineering major who said that the stereotypes of Trump supporters are unfair.

“Everybody thinks that Trump supporters are these crazy maniacs and we’re not,” Drysdale said.

Joseph Cronin also counter-protested the event. He said he came to exercise his first amendment right.  

“I enjoy hearing the viewpoints of others and having a discussion,” Cronin said.

The speakers proceeded without interruption. The rally was less incendiary than the Black Lives Matter rally in September: members of SDS and supporters from Trump, Clinton, Jill Stein and Gary Johnson debated cordially afterward.

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