On Friday, Berkeley community members voiced concerns over President Donald Trump’s attempts to delegitimize votes in key swing states at a rally organized by Revolution Books and Refuse Fascism, a national political organization calling for Trump’s removal from office.
The rally began at Sproul Plaza, where organizers handed out signs to participants. Some signs read, “Trump/Pence out now!” and “Take to the streets and stay!” The group of a little less than 20 people marched up and down Telegraph Avenue reciting several chants, including “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA.” After marching and chanting through Sproul Plaza, the group posed for a photo at Sather Gate.
“He said he was going to do a Muslim ban and he did a Muslim ban,” said rally organizer and Revolution Books manager Reiko Redmonde. “He said he was going to go after immigrants and he went after immigrants. … Trump has been saying for months that he will not go along with peaceful transition of power, and people have to take Trump at his word.”
Redmonde said she was inspired to organize the rally because she felt Trump’s comments from the past few months have indicated that he would use every tool at his disposal to change the election’s outcome should he lose his bid for reelection.
Additionally, Redmonde said she sensed UC Berkeley students who frequent Revolution Books wanted a way to publicly demonstrate their frustration with Trump’s recent comments and lawsuit threats regarding vote counting in several swing states.
“I really don’t think he’s going to go down without a fight,” said campus freshman Gaby Cohen. “I’m really afraid of what his supporters are going to do. … He’s already kind of built up this narrative that it was stolen from him, even though it was just counting votes; that’s how elections work.”
Cohen joined the rally with two of her friends when they saw the demonstrators near the Unit 3 residence hall, where she lives. Cohen, who studies sociology and environmental science, said she is scared Trump will use “unconstitutional means” to stay in office, even though she believes Democratic candidate Joe Biden is poised to win the race.
She also said she felt the rally represented Berkeley residents’ attempt to take politics into their own hands and ensure they are active members in the country’s democratic process as election officials continue to count ballots.
“It’ll take millions in the street to drive (Trump) out,” said Berkeley resident and rally participant D’andre Teeter. “It calls for tremendous resolve and bravery.”