Students of Amherst Regional High School walkout in solidarity after election results

(Danny Cordova/ Daily Collegian)
(Danny Cordova/ Daily Collegian)

Students at Amherst Regional High School walked out of school after 12 p.m. on Monday to promote solidarity in the aftermath of President-elect Donald Trump’s victory last week.

The demonstration rallied around 350 students and community members started at the front entrance of ARHS, marched south of Main Street and met at the Amherst Town Common where speakers expressed their emotions and concerns toward the election results.
Before the march, Abigail Morris, a junior at ARHS and one of the event organizers, spoke on the potential effects of the Trump presidency on minorities, illegal immigrants and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

“This is going to be a very hard four years,” Morris said.

According to Morris, some parents of students and faculty members supported the march.

After the forming in front of the high school, the crowd of students marched to the common, and along the way the group chanted “this is what democracy looks like” and “not my president.” Demonstrators also held up signs that read “Climate change is not a hoax,” “End corporate rule – legalize democracy” and “We stand together.”

Once the crowd congregated in a circle on the Amherst Town Common, people spoke about their concerns with the newly elected president.

“All of us are being affected by this election,” said Marley Friedrick, who is a junior at ARHS. “You have sisters, brothers, friends, uncles, aunts, all of you are being affected by this. Your daughters will grow up with this man being our president. And I, and all of you, should be done letting them build their walls with our corpses. We will stand up as we have always done and fight for us, for our rights, for our daughters’ rights, for our sons’ rights … we fight for them and we fight for us.”

“A single candle banishes all the darkness, let us be that candle” said Sierra Romero, sophomore ARHS student.

Ben Gilsdorf, senior of ARHS and one of the speakers from the crowd, urged the crowd to combat the Trump presidency through political involvement.

“What speaks louder than words is action, so go out there and make a difference,” Gilsdorf said. “Go to the damn polls and make a gosh-darn difference.”

A small counter protest formed in response to the student protesters, claiming that Trump won the presidency. One of the signs from the counter protest read “spoiled privileged brats.”

In response, the students chanted “hey hey, ho ho, all haters got to go.”

As the speeches concluded around 2 p.m., the students began to march back to ARHS.

Morris organized the event following the election of Trump. The organizers set up a Facebook event page, which was shared to over 500 people.

“I’m really surprised by how many people came, I definitely wasn’t expecting this many but I’m really glad it happened,” Morris said. “I think it’s really exciting and it really shows that we are not going to stop fighting.”

Danny Cordova can be reached at [email protected], and followed on Twitter @DannyJCordova. Hayley Johnson can be reached at [email protected], and followed on Twitter @hayleyk_johnson.