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"We gotta keep moving. We gotta keep going": Protesters gathered Friday to discuss post-election grievances

Protestors took to Franklin Street to protest the election of Donald Trump as the next president.

Protestors took to Franklin Street to protest the election of Donald Trump as the next president.

Protestors on Franklin Street chanted "Trump and Klan go hand-in-hand" and "No Justice, No Peace" on Friday night.

The event, called "We Are Not This," called for people to come together to discuss plans for the future and to celebrate the diversity of Orange County residents.

Throughout his campaign, President-elect Donald Trump made controversial comments about marginalized communities. 

High school students Maxine Portier-Young, Sol Madar and Nikolai Mather were inspired to organize the event on Facebook to protest the spike in hate crimes since Trump's election.

“There’s been a resurgence of hate crimes across the U.S. following the election and I was tired of it. I wanted to get in the streets. I wanted to actually do something," said Madar, a junior at Chapel Hill High School. “A friend recommended that if there aren’t any protests immediately in your area then you should organize one.”

Madar said they and their friends were surprised by Trump's election and felt the tension at school recently.

Mather, a senior at Northwood High School in Chatham County, said he was scared about how people at his school would react to Trump's election. 

“There is a definite uptake in racial slurs, sexual slurs, and queerphobic slurs," he said.

Portier-Young said she's experienced more verbal violence since the election.

“A lot of the Trump supporters have harassed me and have gotten into my face and very aggressively shouting slurs," she said.

The protest began at the Peace and Justice Plaza at 6 p.m. From there, protestors marched down the sidewalks of Franklin Street toward the intersection of North Columbia Street and Franklin Street. The protesters stayed at the intersection and chanted for about 20 minutes while a few stood in the street.

Traffic was held up and Chapel Hill Police Department officers directed traffic while protesters were in the street.

The crowd then continued down Columbia Street and turned left onto Cameron Avenue shouting, "Donald Trump can go to hell, but we are going to the Well."

Many parents brought their children to the protest, including Tatyana Davis, a 24-year-old Chapel Hill native. Davis brought her two-year-old son, partly because she couldn't find a babysitter and partly because she wanted to build a foundation for her son's awareness.

"He's a baby and there are people who hate him already," she said. "I want him to grow up knowing what's going on and be strong and independent and not be afraid to live his life because of the color of his skin."

At the Old Well, people were invited to come up and speak about their experiences after the election. There were calls for more organized activism and education in the coming years. A few people came up and called for the protest to move back to Franklin Street in hopes of making more of an impression.

The group moved down Polk Place and marched back toward the intersection of Columbia and Franklin streets, with police directing traffic on Rosemary and Cameron. Protesters created a circle around the intersection and chanted "Love Trumps Hate" and "This is what democracy looks like."

This is the first protest the three students have organized, but they're hoping it will bring more awareness and activism in the community.

"Things don't stop here. We gotta keep moving. We gotta keep going," Mather said.

Staff writer Alexis Bell contributed reporting.


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