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Asheville, NC meets Trump with protests

By Charla Schlueter |
September 14, 2016
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1000 demonstrate at Trump campaign stop in Asheville, NC
1000 demonstrate at Trump campaign stop in Asheville, NC (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Asheville, NC - With just a few days notice, 1000 protesters filled the streets on Aug. 12 to protest Republican nominee Donald Trump. "We wanted to make it clear that his bigotry and lies are not welcome in area code 828," said community member Ken Hurley. "I am just appalled that this racist ass is considered a viable electoral option."

A diverse group of people came out to shut down Trump's hate message. Families brought their toddlers, immigrant rights activists sang songs and danced in the street, while anti-war students led chants "No Trump, no KKK, no racist USA!” and workers took the time after work to let Trump know "Not in my town."

Ernesto Toceo, a local construction worker, said he came out because Trump is a "dangerous racist. He is attacking my whole community. He does not understand that immigrants built this nation. We are why this country is great." Toceo said he had to show Trump that he is not afraid to stand up and fight. "I am not a criminal and I will not be treated like one."

Other people were more weary. "Being a small black woman, I was really nervous to come out today," said Kim Cicotte. "I wasn't sure if I would be safe with all of his [Trump's] racist supporters coming out." Ultimately Cicotte said she decided it was more important to show that there is a strong movement that will not stand for Trump's lies and hate. "I came with my community - I figure there is power in numbers."

Some protesters were accosted by Trump supporters as they were escorted out of the civic center where Trump was speaking. One man was grabbed by the throat and punched, while another protester was slapped in the face.

"Donald Trump stands for the worst kind of extreme right politics," Josh Sykes, an anti-war activist said. "His inflammatory speeches work like a lightening rod to draw in every bigot and racist around. The only course of action that makes sense in the face of this is to bring vocal and progressive opposition wherever he goes. Hope is in the struggle and change is in the streets."

That is just what Asheville did. The community came out in full force to let Trump know that his reactionary message will not be tolerated in this southern town.