Fossil Free AU leads protest against Trump’s speech at Homeland Security

Trump laid out plans for his promised wall at the southern border

Fossil Free AU leads protest against Trump’s speech at Homeland Security

Student protesters march toward the Department of Homeland Security to protest a Trump speech on immigration on Jan. 25, 2017. 

Fossil Free AU, the student group which aims to encourage the University to divest from fossil fuel companies, organized a protest on Wednesday afternoon outside the Department of Homeland Security in response to President Donald Trump’s visit. Trump appeared at the department’s Nebraska Avenue campus to deliver an address regarding his plan to build a wall along the U.S.- Mexican border and to restrict the country’s immigration policy.

Though Trump did not speak on environmental policy during his address, students gathered to make their voices heard on a number of issues. Anna Bonomo, a senior in the School of Public Affairs, heard that Trump would be speaking at DHS and decided to take action.

“Trump is making plans for the wall and we have to say no to fascism,” Bonomo said. “AU will not stand for this.”

Bonomo was one of the organizers for the protest and shared her plans on Facebook to invite others to take part in the activism. Monica Villacorta, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, is not a member of Fossil Free AU; however she said she had a personal stake in Trump’s speech.

“Being from a Latino household, Trump’s rhetoric directly impacts my family,” she said.

More than 30 students joined Bonomo and Villacorta yesterday on the steps of the Kay Spiritual Life Center at 2:30 p.m. to assemble for the protest. Activists brought signs that read, “No Wall No Registry” and “Small Hands Can’t Build a Wall.”

The crowd gathered behind police officers and chanted phrases including “Show me what democracy looks like; this is what democracy looks like,” as well as, “We will not go away, welcome to your fifth day.”

Activists from the neighborhood also joined the crowd. One resident in the AU community Colin Moir said that he “would not be anywhere else.”

“I see this as the beginning of the fascist regime and we need to take a stand against it,” Moir said.

Onlookers waited for 30 minutes until President Trump’s motorcade departed from DHS. Once he left the area, students returned to campus and protesters left the site.

One of the protestors, junior Lauren Testa in the School of Public Affairs said, “Fear of immigrants and xenophobia should not influence policy.”

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