Preslee Thorne is scared.
On Friday night she joined around 60 other concerned community members at the EMU to protest the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States.
“I think it’s important for everybody to gather and voice their problems,” Thorne said. “If we all unite together, voices can be heard.”
Thorne uses Obamacare, so the future of her healthcare concerned her tonight. Only an hour before the protest started, Trump signed an executive order requesting institutions to begin phasing out Obamacare.
“I’m really scared to see what the future of our healthcare system is like,” Thorne said.
Thorne’s mom also uses Obamacare. She has preexisting rheumatoid arthritis, and her medication is expensive.
“I’m mainly concerned for her,” Thorne said.
Both speakers and the crowd debated over different ways to move forward with the protests: some advocated for peaceful protest, while some in the crowd argued for violent action, but the events remained peaceful.
Protesters at the EMU shouted, “Donald Trump! Go away! Racist! Sexist! Anti-gay!” and “The people united will never be divided!” At 6 p.m. the crowd, escorted by Eugene police, marched downtown towards Kesey Square.
Some marchers held signs and wore shirts with anti-Trump messages, such as “Elizabeth Warren for President” and “My Pussy Grabs Back.”
Leo Perez, a UO senior, marched with the group. As an immigrant, Perez said that Trump doesn’t represent him.
“It is really frightening listening to people having to be deported — being separated from their families,” he said.
Perez, a psychology and international studies major, said he will continue to use his voice to fight against injustices throughout Trump’s presidency.
“Just him being elected shows the problems that our country has,” he said.
More people joined the march as it progressed. About a quarter of the marchers, nearing 120, wore bandanas around their noses and mouths.
The march ended at Kesey Square in downtown Eugene, where protesters continued to give speeches.
Some speakers mentioned how, after Trump took the oath, the White House removed its LGBTQ and civil rights pages from its “issues” tab.
Jody Leder, a newly graduated student of Academy of Arts and Academics in Springfield, hosted the protest and march. He said he knew people wanted to express their anger.
Leder said he wants a peaceful transition of power, but “Trump and his cabinet are not welcome.”
The crowd dispersed at about 7 p.m.