Protesters united with full force in front of the First Niagara Center to protest Donald Trump’s presence in Buffalo. People from all walks of life and representatives from several community organizations joined as one to represent the real Buffalo and the 716 distaste for the presidential candidate.
Police presence was also in full force, as dozens of police were lined up with what looked like batons on steroids in their hands, monitoring the peaceful protesters. At the event, there were over 100 police officers total.
This protest wasn’t just about Donald Trump. Members of the Black Lives Matter movement was there, holding up signs and chanting “Black Lives Matter.” People were also chanting, “Say her name” in reference to the death of India Cummings; a young girl who died shortly after being released from the Erie County Holding Center. This was a moment to discuss all the disparities among the minority communities and represent the unheard voices.
To be forward – it was beautiful. People of all races, sexual orientations and gender identities held their hands up to make peace signs and hearts. People held “Refugee’s welcome” signs, “Black Live Matter” signs, and dozens of other signs to represent the many movements made for the minority communities.
Trump supporters walked past shouting “Fuck you” and “Go to China.” Trump supporters looked at the protesters – laughing and taking pictures – shaking their heads in disgust and giving the middle finger.
The protesters? They were dancing to a drum circle and chanting “Say No Trump in Buffalo.” Many of the other chants included – “Hey, hey, ho, ho, racism has got to go,” “The People, united, will never be defeated,” and “Love trumps hate,” – among several others. They varied from “Islamophobia has got to go,” to “Black Lives Matter.” There was nothing but love and compassion on the protesters side of the barricade.
Paris Henderson of the Resilience Party, a part protesting Trump, helped to bring music to the protest. A drum circle by Ismail & Company was there, and protesters gathered around to dance and chant.
“The idea with our protest is that we are going to resist the bull shit. People of color are not new to this type of rhetoric and the stuff that Trump and [Carl] Paladino are spewing . . . We’re welcoming everyone to the party. They are going to fight racism, bigotry, and fascism with us,” he said.
At the end of the Trump rally, protesters made their way to the Metro Rail train tracks and formed a blockade. People were dancing and chanting peaceful slogans. Some protesters marched to the Erie County Holding Center after the blockade.
President of the Young Black Democrats of New Western New York Katrina Martin Bordeaux started organizing the rally in March.
“I wanted to stand up and let our community know that we support our black community, our Latino community, our Muslim community, our gay community and any other marginalized community. We’re here to take a stance in solidarity and stand up to this ideology of hate and bigotry,” she said.
Bordeaux was not the only one who organized the rally. Victoria Ross of the Western New York Peace Center also organized the rally, among many other activists in Buffalo. Several folks had a hand in the movement that took place.
Some protesters made it into the rally, but were immediately escorted out. Some people said they were “dragged out.” A total of 21 protesters made it into the rally.