Students chant "The people united will never be divided," as they march down the streets of Isla Vista. Jenny Luo / Daily Nexus

Students chant “The people united will never be divided” as they march down the streets of Isla Vista. Jenny Luo / Daily Nexus

Despite the heavy rains this morning, an estimated 500 students grabbed umbrellas and walked out of their classes at noon in protest of Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th President of the United States. They gathered in front of Campbell Hall holding signs saying “Make America Gay Again” and “Jail Bankers, not Immigrants.”

Protesters moments away from entering Pardalll Tunnel. Jenny Luo / Daily Nexus

Protesters moments away from entering Pardall Tunnel. Jenny Luo / Daily Nexus

The protest, organized by the Student Activist Network, marched from Campbell Hall through the UCSB Library before making a stop at Storke Tower, after which they marched down Pardall Road to Anisq’Oyo park.

Candice Somay, a PODER organizer, made an impassioned speech to the gatherers, which included UCSB alumni, students, faculty and a handful of dissenters rallying against the protest.

Rogelio Vargas Gonzalez, student outreach liaison for UCSB’s Multicultural Center, spoke at Storke Tower reassuring marchers that “You are here now to continue fighting for what is right and just.”

Approximately eight to nine UC police officers were manning the protest, according to UC Police Sgt. Robert Romero.

“We’ve noticed there are some counter-protesters here so the reason for being here is to kind of show our presence and make sure that everything is peaceful and that everyone is able to express their feelings,” he said.

The counter-protesters were not all Republicans or Trump supporters. Troy Eggertsen, a prominent anti-protest protestor, personally identifies as Libertarian.

“I’m here to poke fun at this Trump protest,” Eggertson said. “I disagree with their alternatives. I don’t necessarily disagree with their distaste for Trump; I’m not a big fan of Trump for various reasons.”

Faculty present at the walkout included Aaron Jones, assistant director of Community Affairs,  who shouted “Her body, her choice” alongside protesters at Storke Tower. Jones said protests are effective in showing people that they are not alone.

Nathan Mai / Daily Nexus

Woodrow David, a first-year student, chants along with protesters against the inauguration of President Donald Trump. Nathan Mai / Daily Nexus

“I also equally think it’s important for individuals to really take care of self and really work on our own evolution, our own growth, and so I do think it has an effect,” he said.

Lisa Sun-Hee Park, a professor of Asian American Studies, spoke with candor about Trump’s inauguration. “Apparently we now have an absurd orange troll as our President,” Park said.

“This isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last time that our rights are tested and our resolve is tested,” she said.

While students chanted, UCSB alumni and employees gathered along the edges of the crowd. Elizabeth Robinson and Sharon Hoshida, retired UCSB employees happily watched the students.

“We’ve been part of this community, I’ve been part of this community for thirty-some years,” Robinson said. “I’ve been engaged with student activism all of that time.”

 Jenny Luo / Daily Nexus

Bronwyn Bunnell, a first-year English major, had her face painted and held a sign that said, “My mom’s third-graders asked if there were going to be deported.” Jenny Luo / Daily Nexus

Margaret Klawunn, vice chancellor of Student Affairs, said students followed University regulations during the walkout. Although students marched into the library, disturbing University operations, she said they followed a request to walk through the building quickly.

“I think it is really important for students to feel like they have the power to represent the issues that they care about,” she said.

Students also blocked traffic while walking through Pardall Road, but businesses were not disturbed by the students.

“We experienced disruption from the rain but not the protesters,” Mehrdad Homayouni, owner of Sam’s To Go sandwich shop, said.

Megan Mineiro, Maura Fox, Matthew Danaher, Jack Hu and Persi Zamani contributed reporting. 

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