Recent anti-Donald Trump rallies around the nation have been marred by violence. Some feared that would happen in Birmingham, especially after social media threats. But Saturday night, though hundreds protested, no one got hurt. That’s not to say emotions weren’t high.
In the same park where police turned dogs and fire hoses on protesters in the 1960s, a diverse crowd of several hundred gathered to shout their support for unity in opposition to a Donald Trump presidency. They chanted, sang, and then marched through downtown Birmingham, with police cruisers stopping traffic. Chants included “Muslim lives matter,” “Latino lives matter,” and “Not my president!” Common themes among marchers and speakers were supporting people who’ve faced discrimination, especially recently, and reforming or abolishing the Electoral College, which gave Trump the election victory despite Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote.
The event was organized partly through social media, where some commenters wrote that today’s marchers should be attacked with fire hoses and dogs. But the worst opposition turned out to be a couple hecklers. One shouted “You are ridiculous!” as the processions passed a bar chanting “We reject the president-elect.”
The three-hour rally ended peacefully, with thanks and loud cheers for the Birmingham Police Department.