They were joined by USC students and faculty as they marched down Trousdale, eventually gathering near Tommy Trojan and chanting “Not our president” and “Si, se puede,” or“yes, we can” in Spanish. Many held signs proclaiming solidarity with minority groups and denouncing Trump and the Republican Party as fascist. Others held up flags from Mexico and El Salvador, expressing solidarity in reference to Trump’s claims that he would deport all 11 million undocumented immigrants currently residing in the U.S.
“We are proud of our country,” one protester holding up a Salvadoran flag said in Spanish. “We want to tell Donald Trump that he cannot deport us, and that he cannot destroy us.”
Students explained that seniors at the 32nd Street School collectively decided to come to USC in order to “make their voices heard.”
“We’re very upset about what happened during the election and how many people were influenced by hate,” said Reginald Albert, a high school senior from the 32nd Street School.
Other protestors held up the rainbow flag of the LGBT movement while many chanted “the people united will never be divided.” The group rallied in front of the Student Union, then began to disperse as some moved toward Exposition Park while others marched out onto Figueroa Street. USC students and faculty formed a “human wall” along Trousdale, then gathered around Tommy Trojan to take turns speaking about what the possibility of a Trump presidency means for them.
One student said that as an undocumented immigrant, she had been taken in by a white woman who helped her eventually get to USC. She urged students to stay united against hate in the face of divisive rhetoric.
“This proves that not everyone is racist,” she said. “There are good people out there.”
By 1:00 p.m., the majority of the protesters had moved off campus. A group of around 200 people from USC made its way down Figueroa Street toward Downtown, where
A group marched back onto campus near 2:00 p.m. yelling, “F–k Donald Trump” as they moved down Trousdale Parkway toward Tommy Trojan. Late Thursday evening, another group gathered at Tommy Trojan and marched downtown, where they assembled in front of City Hall in further protest.
The Office of the Provost issued a statement Thursday evening recognizing the discontent that has spread throughout campus and saying that it would not allow “abuse, threats, harassment, intimidation or violence” targeted toward any members of the USC community. The statement, which was signed by Provost Michael Quick, Vice President for Student Affairs Ainsley Carry and Dean of Religious Life Varun Soni, urged students to report incidents of bias online or through USC’s LiveSafe app.
“Given the fact that our community reflects such a profound pluralism of experiences, identities, perspectives, and beliefs, it is inevitable that we will sometimes face deep disagreements regarding fundamental issues,” the email statement said. “However, as a cherished community of scholars and artists, we have the unique opportunity and the shared responsibility to model how we engage, interrogate, and reconcile our differences with civility, respect, and empathy.”