St. Petersburg Protest Marchers Came with Message of Solidarity, Inclusion
Hundreds of people marched in St. Petersburg on Sunday (Nov. 13) to protest what they see as the message of hate and intolerance from President-elect Donald Trump.
By Shelly Steck-Reale, Correspondent, TB Reporter
ST. PETERSBURG – About 1,000 people of all ages, gender, and ethnicities, joined Sunday (Nov. 13) night in downtown St. Petersburg, filling the streets as they marched shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand.
“Love trumps hate” and “He’s a racist … a sexist; he doesn’t represent us!” drowned out the music that poured from bars and restaurants as the sea of protesters made their way down Central Avenue. Curious diners and tourists along the route snapped photos on their cellphones, some picking up the chant in support, others shouting, “It’s the democratic process. Get over it!”
The march from Demen’s Landing to Williams Park and back, co-sponsored by Tampa Bay Alliance For Positive Change and Students for a Democratic Society, was similar to those held across the country in reaction to the results of the Nov. 8 election. Though many were there to protest Trump, the message had evolved beyond the election results into a message of solidarity and a demand for tolerance and inclusion.
“We accept the Electoral College. We accept the results. What we don’t accept is bigotry and hate,” said Robert Curry, a volunteer for the event.
His views represented some of the backlash from an unprecedented election cycle of rhetoric that left many feeling disenfranchised and uncertain. As reports of incidents involving threats, intimidation, vandalism and harassment flooded in from across the country and played out on social media, concerns of a pervasive “Trump Effect” has left many on edge. Betty, who came with her co-workers, spoke passionately about the importance of letting her voice be heard, but declined to give her full name out of fear of retribution.
The Rev. Andy Oliver was equally concerned, saying, “I’m here as a white person and as a pastor, to resist injustice and oppression. It’s the only way I know how to be a citizen.”
As people process the fall out from a bitter campaign, Trump’s win, and the impact on both sides, those marching in St. Pete said they want to make sure their message is understood.
“I’m not protesting our President; I’m not saying the election was rigged. I’m here to make sure our voices are heard,” said Danielle Chard of St. Petersburg.
The demonstration played out peacefully. St. Petersburg police reported no arrests or incidents, before it wrapped up about 8:30 pm.
For more about the #notmypresident St. Petersburg march, go to facebook.com.
For TB Reporter video from the march, go to facebook.com/tampabayreporter.
Photos by Shelly Steck-Reale, TB Reporter correspondent.
#Notmypresident | St. Petersburg March | Protest March | Shelly Steck-Reale | TB Reporter
#Notmypresident #StPetersburgMarch #ProtestMarch #ShellySteckReale #TBReporter