What started out as four students with signs outside Pearce-Ford Tower quickly turned into a protest on Wednesday night over the election of Donald Trump as president.
Students who gathered around the courtyard of PFT were expressing support and opposition for the new president-elect.
“It’s not civil disobedience, just opposition,” junior Michaela Ryan, one of the early protesters, said. Ryan heard people off campus were starting a protest and became involved by sharing the information on Facebook.
Protesters like Ryan were upset by some of Trump’s comments during the election.
“While he is our president, the things he says and does isn’t how I want other countries to see us,” Ryan said.
One of the groups that initiated the protest was SOKY Riot Grrrls. WKU 2014 alumni Lauren Wetenkamp, who is a member of the group, said the protest had a purpose beyond showing opposition.
“We are creating a safe space for people who would be targeted by a Trump presidency,” Wetenkamp said.
The protest primarily gained attention after a fire alarm went off in Keen Hall, which forced several students out of the building. Trump supporters quickly noticed the protesters and began to yell back.
“It’s hypocritical, they are saying ‘love trumps hate,’ but they are spouting hate,” sophomore Morgan Robinson said. Robinson was one of many students that got involved in the protest.
Some students, like freshman Zhaneé Masden, are worried the conflict seen in the protest is a prediction of the next four years.
As the event grew and intensified, people began to burn flags, play music, stand on walls and yell chants. The large crowd drew the attention of WKUPD, who were alerted of the event beforehand.
The Warren County Sheriff Department also arrived and tried to disperse the crowd with loud sirens. At least four people were in custody but there has been no official statement of an arrest or charge.
The Herald will update this story as information becomes available.
Reporter Rebekah Alvey can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected]