Thousands gather in Columbia for protests in solidarity against Trump

Columbia resident John Owens: “It seems the whole town is out today. … When you read in the news or in history, protest movements that have actually succeeded in bringing about their objectives — it only happens when everybody is involved.”

Color, quotes and images flashed through the air on hundreds of signs sported by participants in Columbia’s Mid-Missouri Solidarity March on Jan. 21.

As thousands marched on Washington in protest of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, Columbia residents turned out to three different events to show their support.

On Friday morning, Mid-Missouri Peaceworks organized an event of solidarity at Traditions Plaza. More than 20 local social justice organizations sponsored the event, including One Mic and the Mizzou Energy Action Coalition. The event was scheduled to take place while Trump was being sworn in and was held in conjunction with a larger march Saturday.

“We are excited to inaugurate an era of activism and resistance,” event organizer Mark Haim said.

Columbia residents of all ages attended the event.

“It’s been almost 50 years since I protested on this campus during Vietnam,” MU graduate and Columbia resident Becky Rowson said. “I haven’t protested anything in 50 years.”

Independent from the other two Columbia events, a smaller rally was held by the Mid-Missouri Anti-Capitalist Alliance on Friday night. The event was sponsored by several groups, including the Mid-Missouri Green Party, the Midwestern Anarchist Federation, Occupy CoMo and the Heartland Prairies Tar Sands Resistance. The rally’s description said that the goal of the event was to “encourage resistance and mobilization for a dramatically different planet based on human need, cooperation, and solidarity.”

“We are opposed to capitalism and Wall Street,” Occupy CoMo member Nestor MacKno said.

On Saturday, Mid-Missouri Peaceworks organized a larger march through Columbia. The event started at the Boone County Courthouse and then moved through downtown. This march was aligned with the larger march in Washington.

“It seems the whole town is out today,” Columbia resident John Owens said. “I saw my pastor here, people I know from work and other people. When you read in the news or in history, protest movements that have actually succeeded in bringing about their objectives — it only happens when everybody is involved. It can’t just be a handful of people on a Saturday. The more the merrier.”

The event attracted several thousand participants marching to support feminism, LGBTQ rights, climate change, immigration and peace.

“There’s a lot of hope here,” MU freshman Katie Najjar said. “It’s very peaceful. Things can change for the better.”

Edited by Madi McVan | mmcvan@themaneater

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