UT students block bridge during anti-Trump demonstration
- Students marched through campus at the University of Texas at Austin Wednesday to protest Donald Trump's election, at one point engaging in a standoff with police as protesters blocked a bridge with a human wall.
- The controversy also spilled over into social media, where students and local residents offered conflicting takes on the situation.
Students at the University of Texas at Austin (UT) took to the streets to protest president-elect Donald Trump.
What began as a small group of about 50 students gathering on UT’s Main Mall soon grew to hundreds of outraged voters moving into the streets and blocking traffic in protest of the electoral results, according to The Daily Texan.
As of 3:35 p.m. CST, the Statesman reported that the protesters’ numbers had swelled to around 400, many of whom can be seen blocking traffic on a major bridge in video footage obtained by Campus Reform.
Austin Democratic councilman Gregorio Casar, who joined in the march across town, released a statement earlier Wednesday morning calling on citizens to "fight back against any and all of Trump's policies of fear and hate and division in out [sic] city."
The crowd made its way through downtown Austin, blocking the South First Street bridge and Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge by forming a human wall spread across traffic before turning towards the State Capitol. No arrests have been reported, and Austin police allowed the protesters to continue so long as their activity remained “safe and peaceful.”
The hashtags “#UTProtest” and “#notmypresident” were trending on Twitter Wednesday afternoon, with Austin locals posting pictures and videos while expressing mixed reactions to the march.
Some tweets and comments expressed solidarity with the demonstrators, while others commented on the absurdity of the protest.
“I’m so happy there are protests going on. Even in my own state of Texas,” one tweet declared. “I’m proud of you guys.”
“Go ahead and do the #utprotest,” another user going by the handle “Deplorable Vetters” said derisively. “The free handouts have ended & you will still need to #getajob! #millenials.”
Sensitive to the backlash, some students even took their frustration out on a user who had merely posted pictures of the demonstration without passing judgment, with one remarking “damn our school getting hate,” prompting the the original poster to lament in the comments section that “I was just trying to share pictures that I took.”
UT’s Director of Media Relations, J.B. Bird, told The Daily Texan that the administration has no intention of intervening in the matter, saying, “The students have a right to peacefully protest and we respect that right, just as we have respected free speech rights at other events on campus.”
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BethanySalgado