Election Protests Sweep Across Santa Cruz and Bay Area


Eric Spencer

As Santa Cruz residents woke up in the morning following the presidential election, many were dealing with a most unexpected reality: Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States. Despite Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote by about 2 million and getting 62 percent of the vote in California, Trump defeated Clinton with a total of 306 electoral votes. Clinton collected 232 electoral votes. Throughout the Bay Area, people took to the streets to express their displeasure with the results. In Berkeley and Oakland an estimated 7,000 demonstrators took to the streets several nights following the election, resulting in numerous street fires of and some vandalism of buildings. Around 1,500 students walked out of class at Berkeley High School the day after the election. Likewise in San Francisco, over 1,000 people from eight schools walked out of class and met to protest outside City Hall.

On the night of the election and the days following in Santa Cruz, more than 2,000 UCSC students marched across campus and down Bay and Mission Streets, eventually reaching Downtown. UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal issued a message of acceptance stating, “Many members of the campus community feel uneasy and perhaps unsafe in the wake of campaign rhetoric that targeted so many populations, including undocumented immigrants, Muslims, people of color, people with disabilities, women, and survivors of sexual assault” but students and faculty must “find a way to move forward together, united by our commitment to inclusivity, equality, and compassion” (KION). At Georgiana Bruce Kirby Preparatory School in Santa Cruz, over 40 students walked out of class and participated in a sit-in at the school halls. Many Kirby students were concerned about Trump’s negative views of immigrants and minorities, including Muslims and people of color.

With recent calls for recounts made by Jill Stein and Hillary Clinton supporters, it is unlikely that the political tensions throughout the Bay Area and all of America will disappear anytime soon.