What began as a rally on the Pentacrest ended with a human blockade across I-80 as Iowa Citians from all walks of life banded together to protest president-elect Donald Trump.
The afternoon began with students from City and West High students staging a walk out. An estimate of over 200 students were either taken out of class by their parents, such as Nate Brady did with his daughter, Esti, or simply walked out of campus to march toward downtown.
Students then joined a scheduled rally on the Pentacrest. Protesters, armed with signs and a megaphone, voiced concerns about Trump’s presidency, the Republican stronghold on Congress and the effect these will have on climate change, Black Lives Matter, immigration and healthcare for women and LGBTQ citizens.
University of Iowa students and faculty also discussed increased instances of racism on campus in the past year, including an incident earlier this week involving a racial slur written on a student’s door in Burge Residence Hall.
Occasionally, Trump supporters called out from cars and from across the street. The protesters responded by yelling back, “We love you.”
Eventually, the group moved to sit in the intersection of Iowa Ave. and Clinton St., blocking traffic from all three directions. The rally quickly turned into a protest march, looping from the Pentacrest down Washington St. and back up Dubuque St.
Protesters passed vocal Trump supporters, including a house on Clinton St. with a large Trump banner draped across the second story.
The group proceeded down Dubuque St. during rush hour, slowing traffic to a crawl. Students from the fraternities along the route and the Mayflower Residence Hall yelled messages of support and opposition at the group.
Police followed the march to ensure safety and address conflicts.
Only one incident unfolded when a woman claimed that protester and University of Iowa professor John Logsdon broke the mirror off her car. Logsdon’s information was taken by police but was not given a citation and the woman drove off before police could address her.
Ultimately, the protesters made it to Interstate 80. By forming a human chain, they were able to block eastbound traffic for about 20 minutes.
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At this point, state police informed the group that they were unable to guarantee the group’s safety.
The protesters dispersed, heading back toward downtown. Organizers have planned for another rally tomorrow Saturday, Nov. 12 at 4:30 p.m.
Check out the full gallery of the evening as it unfolded below.
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